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Banana-Apple Bread Pudding


Banana-Apple Bread Pudding

Here's a tea time treat whose sweetness enhances any kind of tea. Instead of "Banana-Apple Bread Pudding," we could have called it, "Royal Envy Pudding," because even the kings of yesteryear would have had difficulty getting this dessert. Why? It combines a fruit from the tropics (bananas) with a fruit from the hills (apples), with vanilla bean extract. We take all this for granted, but in, say 1492, this dessert was just not happening. If you ever have the opportunity to use a time machine and go back to those days, take a couple of pans of this with you. You'll make friends fast. They will demand the recipe. But if you give it to them, will you disturb the space-time continuum and change history in some strange way? Be careful.

Until then, make some of this for a local friend and have a good chat about counting your blessings. Number one, well, you could always start with your friend.  And then the pudding. Yes, there are more important blessings, but we tend to name whatever is closest to mind. Folks who study this kind of thing call it the recency effect. "Recently, I ate some banana-apple bread pudding. And now, I think I'll eat some more."


1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

Cinnamon sugar mixture:
3 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter

2 cups peeled fresh cut up apples
6 cups cubed brioche (challah) bread (about 7-8 slices)
2 bananas coarsely mashed

Prepare cream mixture:
Melt 1 stick butter in heavy pan.  Stir in the sugars.  Add the half and half and heavy cream.  Bring to a light boil and then add the vanilla.  Cool the cream mixture.  Blend the eggs and add to the cream mixture.  You want to make sure the cream mixture is cool when you add the eggs (otherwise, you will have scrambled eggs).

Prepare bread:
Remove skin of the bread and lightly toast each slice.  Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and set aside.  As you remove from toaster, lightly butter bread and sprinkle each slice with the the cinnamon sugar mixture  You will have some cinnamon sugar mixture left.  When all the slices have been buttered and sprinkled with the cinnamon sugar mixture, cut into cubes and set aside.

Apple mix:
Melt the remaining butter (from the bread preparation) in pan and add the cut up apples and the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture until the apples are soft and cooked through.  Drain apple mixture and toss away any remaining liquid.

Grease a 9 inch pan.  Layer the cubed bread (with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled), bananas, and apples coated with cinnamon sugar.  Add the cream mixture just until the bread is covered.   Do not overfill.  There may be some leftover cream mixture.  You may save for another recipe or toss.

Place the pan with the  bread pudding into a larger pan half filled with hot water.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. 

You can make this dish half a dozen times and it can have a different taste each time. The secret lies in the apples. Granny Smith apples will give a tart addition to the puddiing, while Fuji or Honey Crisp will add that extra super sweet apple overlay. Or you can use Washington Red Delicious for a "standard" apple flavor.

And, if you want to go for the gusto, add a dollop of whipped cream to the top, and maybe even a maraschino  cherry. What we don't recommend is soaking a bread cube in rum and lighting it afire on top of the dessert when you serve it. That's just too ostentatious.

Other recipes of note
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
Very Raspberry Very Merry Coffee Cake with Chocolate
Spinach and Bacon Quiche
Lemon Cupcake Surprise
Quadruple Chocolate Brownies
Intensely Lemon Cookies
Macaroni and Cheese Supreme

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