Challah bread pudding with apples and honey

A bread pudding sweet enough to lift the soul.

Here is a recipe that combines several Jewish favourites into one beautiful breakfast dish. The wonderful eggy deliciousness that is Challah bread is comparable to the French brioche and lends itself very well for day-old bread dishes. According to mitzvah (Jewish law) Challah is bread that has been ‘separated’. Part of the dough of each loaf needs to be offered to the priests. These days that usually means that a little ball of dough will be burnt in the oven next to the bread. Honey, apples and walnuts have a special place in Jewish culinary tradition. Apples dipped in honey are consumed at the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) and symbolize the wish for a sweet new year. A mixture of chopped walnuts, honey and apple is traditionally served at Seder dinner during Passover and symbolizes the mortar used by Jewish slaves to build the Egyptian pyramids. What better way to combine all of these traditional ingredients than a dish that will make your house smell absolutely divine?

Ingredients

• 1 tbsp cinnamon

• 1/2 tsp ground ginger

• 1 apple, cubed

• 6 eggs, beaten

• 2/3 cup sugar

• 1 cup half & half

• 2 tbsp melted butter

• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

• 1/4 cup sultana raisins

• 1 tsp vanilla

• Honey, to serve

• 1 small loaf of challah, day old, ripped into 2 inch pieces

If you’re using fresh Challah, you can spread the pieces out on a couple of rimmed baking sheets, and bake them in a 275°F oven until slightly dry, about 10 minutes.

Method

1. Butter a ceramic baking dish, 9 in. by 13 in.

2. In a bowl, toss cubed apple in cinnamon, add raisins and chopped walnuts

3. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, half and half, vanilla, and butter together, add the sugar.

4. Add the ripped up bread to the egg mix. make sure all pieces are covered and let stand for a couple minutes to soak up all of the liquid.

5. Layer the soaked bread and apple filling into the baking dish, until snugly filled.

6. Bake in a 325°F oven for 35–40 minutes, or until slightly wobbly but not wet in the middle. Best served warm, drizzled with honey to serve.

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