Bread Pudding Custard:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple brandy, such as Calvados
Apple-Ginger Caramel Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/4 cup apple brandy, such as Calvados
- 1/2 loaf day-old country loaf bread, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise:
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche
- Ground cinnamon, for dusting
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Fresh mint, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
For the bread pudding custard: Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Whisk together the yolks, granulated sugar and maple syrup in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture until combined. Remove the vanilla pod and whisk in the apple brandy. Strain the custard into a clean bowl.
For the apple-ginger caramel sauce: To a saute pan over medium-high heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the brown sugar and allow to melt. Next, add the apples, cinnamon sticks and ginger and saute until softened but still hold their shape. Season with salt. Deglaze with the apple brandy and allow to cook until the sauce has become a thick, glazy consistency. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Combine the apple-ginger caramel sauce with the bread.
Whisk together the yolks and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until at the pale ribbon stage. Slowly whisk in the hot half-and-half, return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Strain into a bowl and set over an ice bath. Stir until chilled. Cover with plastic wrap directly on surface and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving
To assemble and bake: Place the silicone molds in a roasting pan. Fill the molds with the soaked bread, and then pour the bread pudding custard over the bread, pressing down on the bread to totally submerge it in the custard. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the custard.
Place the pan in a larger roasting pan and pour in hot tap water until it comes halfway up the sides of the inner roasting pan. Bake until the sides are slightly puffed and the center jiggles slightly, about 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and the water bath and cool on a baking rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the whipped cream: In a cold bowl, whisk the cream and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Fold in the creme fraiche until combined.