4 apples, peeled, cored, & sliced into 1/8” thick slices
3 Tbsp butter plus 1 Tbsp, divided plus more for pan
3 Tbsp plus ½ cup pure maple syrup, divided
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp plus ¼ tsp salt, divided
Pinch plus ¾ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, divided
8 cups of cubed bread approximately 20 ounces*
2 ¼ cups milk
2 ¼ cups cream
4 eggs plus 2 yolks
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. bourbon (optional)
¼ cup brown sugar
Cinnamon and sugar mixture
*This recipe is excellent with either Wave Hill bread or Bantam Bread's challah.
1. Cut bread into cubes and lay out on cookie sheets to begin drying out
2. Make apple filling. Melt 3 Tbsp butter. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and pinch of nutmeg and stir to combine. Add apples and stir to coat. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until apples are soft but not mushy and syrup is coating and clinging to apples. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
3. Heat oven to 325. Rack in lower third of oven. Generously butter a glass or ceramic 9x13 baking dish.
4. Whisk eggs, yolks, maple syrup, and brown sugar in a very large bowl. Whisk in milk, cream, vanilla, salt, ¾ tsp. nutmeg and bourbon, if using. (Bourbon was used in the dessert at the Mid-Winter Harvest Dinner.) Add bread to custard, toss to coat well and let rest 30 minutes.
5. Make topping: Melt remaining 1 Tbsp. of butter. Mix together some sugar and cinnamon.
6. After 30 minutes, place one half of bread with custard in baking dish. Top with apple filling and then the rest of bread cubes. Pour custard evenly over bread and press down slightly on the bread. Brush exposed bread with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the whole dish.
7. Bake for 55 – 65 minutes until deep golden brown, sides are rising up a bit and the center jiggles just a bit when shaken. Let cool until lukewarm or cool completely, then refrigerate. Warm in a low oven covered and serve.
Serving suggestion: Vanilla ice cream or maple whipped cream.