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Pudding Crème aux Pommes (Apple and Bread Pudding)

(recipe, Richard Olney)

Ingredients

  1. 1 lb. apples, quartered, cored, peeled, sliced
  2. Large handful (about 2 ounces) stale breadcrumbs, without crusts
  3. ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  4. Pinch of powdered cinnamon
  5. 1 cup milk
  6. 2 eggs
  7. ⅓ cup sugar
  8. Small pinch of salt

Steps

  1. Cook the apples in about 3 tablespoons butter, tossing from time to time, until tender and translucid, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cook the breadcrumbs in the remaining butter (adding more butter if necessary) over very low heat, stirring regularly, until they are uniformly golden and crisp.
  2. Spread the crumbs in the bottom of a lightly buttered gratin dish, arrange the apples on the bed of crumbs, and sprinkle lightly with the cinnamon. Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, and salt, and pour slowly over the apples. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Note

Serve warm, accompanied or not by a sabayon sauce (½ cup sugar, 3 egg yolks, ⅔ cup white wine, and a bit of grated lemon peel whisked in a small heavy saucepan in a bain-marie of nearly boiling water over low flame until thick). Culinate editor's notes: You can skip the apple-peeling stage, if you wish. You may also want to double the amount of breadcrumbs, to two handfuls. Use only half a stick of butter (it'll still taste great) and bake everything in an 8-by-12-inch baking dish.