I found these old, extremely wrinkly apples in my fridge (don't ask me how they got there or how they got so old and wrinkly... I have no idea!) and I had some leftover french bread that had turned really hard, so I decided to make apple bread pudding! I always try to use groceries before they go bad, so that I waste the least amount possible; this is most definitely a habit from when I was growing up. My family was pretty strict about not wasting food, even when I was a little kid, and even if I didn't like the food... I still had to clean my plate! So although this strictness taught me how to hide food in napkins, it also taught me to start liking things I didn't like when I was little (like fish!) AND it taught me not to waste :D I have to admit I even buy clearance produce and stuff that's a little banged up and bruised and use it in my cooking... you just have to be creative, and you can save a lot of $$$ (says the graduate student)!
Anyway, old bread + wrinkly apples becomes extremely tasty when mixed with a few other ingredients and baked! Usually I don't do well at baking because unlike cooking, you have to be kinda precise about measurements and stuff, and I'm usually VERY imprecise at everything, but this turned out to be quick, easy and really great. Best of all, because I didn't have all the extras like cream and rum, so it was kinda low fat by default (relative to real bread pudding of course!) Feel free to add the fat and rum back in... it will probably be dynamite!
Here's my recipe, though you should probably adjust for what you have... try tastespotting for other recipes and ideas for your pudding... they have fabulous pictures! I'm sure this recipe would have tasted just as lovely for chocolate bread pudding :D
3-4 apples (peeled, sliced and seeded)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp nutmeg
pinch of all spice
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 loaf (or more... maybe like 8 slices?) of old bread, cubed
1/2 cup of white sugar
3 cups low fat milk
1 tsp vanilla
raisins *if desired... you can soak them in a few tablespoons of rum to make them juicy and alcohol-y if you have any rum!*
Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) On stovetop, cook apples in brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, white sugar, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla together, add bread and raisins (making sure all cubes are soaked and mushy... don't be afraid to add a bit more milk!). You can either layer the apples and then the bread mixture on the bottom of a greased pan (I used 9"x13"), or you can mix it all up like I did, and then put it in the pan. Put the pan in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how juicy or dry you like it (also depending on how hot your oven runs!) I hope you enjoy!