I have absolutely no idea how this Savory Apple Chutney Bread Pudding came about. I am not even a chutney nut. But I love bread puddings – sweet or savory. See the Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding for a really special sweet version. Hmmm, I thought I had posted my favorite Chocolate Bread Pudding with Kahlua Cream Anglaise, but to my surprise found I have taught it but not blogged it. Next year!
In my ongoing effort this November to give you new choices for Thanksgiving, this bread pudding fits right in. The apple chutney, with it’s red peppers, cider vinegar, brown sugar and ginger is a little sweet and has a nice bite to it from the cinnamon, red pepper flakes, mustard and nutmeg. The chutney itself would be good as a side dish for pork also. I use Granny Smith apples for their lack of sweetness and coupled it with brown sugar cinnamon bagels. I like the bagels because they absorb a good amount of liquid without falling apart. The result is a little sweet and a little tangy. The chutney can be made a week ahead ready to assemble for the final dish.
Fresh ginger can be a bit daunting to use if you are new to it. Nothing gives the same zip and flavor as fresh ginger. The easiest way to manage this is to use a serrated spoon, such as one for grapefruit, and simply scrape away the paper thin covering. Leftover ginger can be cleaned, wrapped in film, placed in a freezer proof bag and stored in the freezer for later use.
The bagels are soaked in a simple egg and milk mixture highlighted with a bit of brandy. Walnuts add crunch to the final dish. The bagel mixture is layered with the chutney and swirled together. After baking, this can be refrigerated for several days and reheated if desired. I used 2% milk because that is what we drink. But whole milk can be substituted if desired. Unlike dessert bread puddings, which often use half and half or cream, I wanted this to be a lighter version, which is certainly is.
This Savory Apple Chutney Bread Pudding is a great side dish for turkey but would be equally good for pork or chicken. I should mention that it is not the most strikingly beautiful dish I have ever come up with but the taste certainly makes up for it.
1 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples, unpeeled
1/2 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Cut the apples into 3/4 inch dice. The easiest way I have found to do this is to cut one side of the apple off, next to, but not including the core. Turn the apple on this flat side and cut it off as before. Continue two more times until you have only a square core left. Cut the apples into 3/4 inch slices, then into 3/4 inch dice.
Cut the red pepper into 1/2 inch dice.
Slice the ginger thinly, then chop it finely. If you have ginger left over, scrape it, wrap it in film and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for the next time you need it and use straight from the freezer.
Place the vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, mustard, cinnamon, red pepper, and nutmeg in a heavy dutch oven. Add the apples and red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for about 30 minutes until the aopples are soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy.
This can be made a week in advance. Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: approximately 2 cups or 1 pound.
Allow to sit for 10 to 20 minutes until the bread is thoroughly soaked.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 6 cup oven proof casserole.
Stir the walnuts into the bread mixture. Cover the bottom of the dish with one half of the bread mixture. Spread the chutney over the bread and top with the remaining bread mixture. Using a table knife, swirl it to mix the bread and chutney a little. Do not completely mix the two.
Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until set. Test it by plunging a knife into the center. If it comes out clean, it it done. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
If making ahead, reheat, covered at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until hot.