Apple Honey Cake Bread Pudding

Every year I felt compelled to serve traditional honey cake as part of my Rosh Hashanah buffet and every year it was hardly eaten, regardless of how good the cake tasted. As a result, I created this recipe that was easy to make, could be prepared days in advance (actually tasted better the longer it sat) and was devoured by all!

Apples and Honey Cake Bread Pudding
With Butterscotch Sauce

1 loaf honey cake (Approximately 9×5) – store bought or home made
2 ounces (1/2 stick unsalted butter)
3 Jonagold, Fuji or Gala apples
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup half and half cream
3 cups milk (whole or 2 % preferred)
1.    Butter a 13 x 9 inch glass pan.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

2.    Cut the honey cake into ¾ inch cubes.  Place in a 4 quart bowl and set aside.

3.    Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/8th.  Cut each 1/8th crosswise into 3 or 4 chunks.

4.    Heat a 10 inch skillet for 15 seconds.  Add the butter and melt.  Sauté the apples in the butter over medium high heat until the apples give up some of their juice.

5.    Add the sugar and cinnamon to the apples and continue sautéing until the sugar is dissolved and the apples begin to brown and get softer.  Remove from the heat and set aside until needed.

6.    Meanwhile, in a two quart bowl whisk the eggs until lightly beaten.  Whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated.  Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to combine.

7.    Place half of the honey cubes in the prepared pan.  Cover with the reserved apples and then with the remaining honey cake cubes.

8.    Pour the egg/milk mixture through a sieve directly over the entire surface of the honey cake.  Lightly press down on the cake to make sure it is covered with the custard.
9.    Place the pan in a larger pan and pour hot water into the larger pan to a depth of 1 inch.

10.    Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a sharp. Thin knife inserted into the center of the pudding comes out wet, but clear.  Serve warm with optional sauce on the side.

Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

1 cup light or dark brown sugar (see note*)
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 ounces (half stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 -2 Tablespoons Scotch or dark rum (optional)
1.    In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, syrup and butter.  Stir only until butter is melted and mixture comes to a full boil.  Adjust the heat to medium high and boil WITHOUT STIRRING for 1 minute.  Remove mixture from heat.

2.    Combine the milk with the vanilla and add to the pan.  Stir only to combine.  Add rum if using and then pour into glass jar.  Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.  May be warmed in the microwave or served cold.

*Note:  Light brown sugar is standard for butterscotch flavor but dark brown sugar may be used for a stronger molasses flavor if desired.

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