Bread Pudding Muffins:
8 cups bread cubes, cut into bite sized pieces (I like to use French bread. The bread can be fresh or stale and crusts can be left on or removed.)
1 large peeled and cored apple, diced
1 cup sultanas (raisins)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups (480 ml) whole (full fat) milk
1/4 cup (35 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place rack in the center of the oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
Place the bread cubes in a large bowl.
Custard: In an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugar until thick (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Then stir in the melted and cooled butter and milk. Stir the custard into the bread cubes and let stand for five to ten minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Stir the flour mixture into the bread cube mixture and then fold in the raisins and apple chunks.
Evenly divide the mixture among the 12 muffins cups, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Gently press the bread cubes to compact. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool. Can dust with confectioners (icing or powdered) sugar before serving.
Makes 12 regular-sized muffins.
Bread Pudding Muffins are a great way to use leftover bread that has gone stale. They have the wonderful flavor of bread soaked in a cinnamon flavored milk, along with chunks of apple and plump raisins. The interesting part about this Bread Pudding Muffin recipe is that instead of baking the bread pudding in one large roasting pan it is baked in individual muffin tins. This makes for a very nice presentation. What a perfect way to start the day.
Bo Friberg tells us in his book Professional Pastry Chef that in centuries past, it was very common in England for every kitchen to have a bowl sitting on the counter to collect leftover bread. Once the bowl was full it would be used to make a rich and creamy bread pudding. What makes a bread pudding perfect everyday fare is that it does not use fancy ingredients; just bread, milk, sugar, eggs, and some flavoring (like vanilla and cinnamon). For these muffins I like to use French bread as it is sturdy enough to hold up to the custard. And you can leave the crusts on or take them off.