Apple bread and butter pudding

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you will no doubt by now have noticed how obsessed I am with the smell of cinnamon. There’s nothing more heavenly to me than cinnamon infused scent covering the entire kitchen and household.
The inspiration for this dish started with a request from my mom to bake a ‘light and quick’ dessert for a park gathering with her friends. She wanted something that would be dry and easy to carry. Pudding tends to be delicate and easily breakable. Hence the idea of using bread to stabilize the soft pudding seemed good to me, and then I found some apples lying around in fruit bowl. Apples go hand in hand with cinnamon and so here we are- apple bread and butter pudding. The name is a mouthful but the dessert is easy to make and not very sweet, hence it is perfect for anyone with a light, sweet tooth. The concept is simple; the layers of buttered bread are placed at the bottom of the baking dish, with softened apple pulp and sultanas at the center. Another layer of buttered bread covers the pulp and then the pudding ‘liquid’ is poured over. I chose to bake this in a rectangular shaped dish. However, using a smaller square or round dish can be used to make a pudding with double layers of bread and apple pulp. Just arrange a layer of bread slices, some apple pulp and then repeat. So instead of my bread-apple-bread combination this becomes bread-apple-bread-apple-bread. Or feel free to arrange it any way you like. If you like puddings and desserts to be on the sweeter side, feel free to increase the amounts of extra sugar from 1 tablespoon to 3 tablespoons.

Ingredients:
5 apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
12-15 slices thin white bread
butter
2 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar, extra
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (optional)
1 cup sultanas

Topping:
30 grams butter
2 tablespoons coconut
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup self raising flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder

1. Peel and core apples, cut into slices. Place apples, sugar, and water into a saucepan and cook this for about 5-10 minutes, making sure the pan is covered. Stir from time to time until the apples have been reduced to pulp.
2. Butter the bread slices lightly. Remove the crusts. Arrange the bread slices in a layer onto the bottom of a greased, rectangular ovenproof dish. Spread the apple pulp on a layer on top of the bread layer. Sprinkle the lemon rind and sultanas on top of the apple pulp. Arrange a second buttered bread layer to completely cover the pulp layer.
3. Beat the eggs together, adding milk and extra sugar and mix into a smooth batter. Pour the egg mixture on top of the dish and let it soak into the bread for about 2-3 minutes.
4. Mix the topping ingredients together. Sprinkle this over the top. Bake in a moderate 180 C preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes. Serve hot, with cream or custard.

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