Baked Apples with Cranberry Molasses Bread Pudding
Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker
Yields Serves 12 Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins

Here are three desserts in one: baked apples, gingerbread-like pudding, and ice cream and caramel sauce on the side.

How to Make It

Step 1
1

Preheat oven to 200° with rack in lowest position. Bake bread in a large rimmed pan until crisp, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool.

Step 2
2

Meanwhile, peel the top quarter of each apple and, using a melon baller, scoop out stem, core, and enough of inside so that walls of apple are about 1/2 in. thick (don't break through bottoms). If needed, trim bottoms slightly so apples sit upright.

Step 3
3

In a large bowl, whisk sugar, molasses, butter, eggs, half-and-half, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg to blend. Increase oven to 325°. As it heats, bake pecans in a shallow pan until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 4
4

Add bread and cranberries to molasses mixture; toss to coat. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until two-thirds of liquid is absorbed, 12 minutes. Stir in pecans.

Step 5
5

Generously stuff apples with bread mixture, mounding it. Set in a 9- by 13-in. baking dish plus a smaller shallow dish.

Step 6
6

Bake until each apple is very tender when pierced, about 1 hour; check after 40 minutes and tent loosely with foil if they're getting dark. Serve warm in shallow bowls with ice cream and caramel sauce.

Step 7
7

Make ahead: Prepare through step 5 and chill airtight up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature (2 1/2 hours) before baking.

Step 8
8

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Ingredients

 1 1/2 qts. cubed (1/2-in.) brioche or seedless challah (about 12 oz.)
 12 Pink Lady or Golden Delicious apples (6 lbs. total), or some of each
 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
 1/2 cup dark molasses
 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
 2 large eggs
 1 cup half-and-half
 1 tablespoon ground ginger
 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
 1 1/4 cups cranberries, cut in half
  Vanilla ice cream

Directions

Step 1
1

Preheat oven to 200° with rack in lowest position. Bake bread in a large rimmed pan until crisp, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool.

Step 2
2

Meanwhile, peel the top quarter of each apple and, using a melon baller, scoop out stem, core, and enough of inside so that walls of apple are about 1/2 in. thick (don't break through bottoms). If needed, trim bottoms slightly so apples sit upright.

Step 3
3

In a large bowl, whisk sugar, molasses, butter, eggs, half-and-half, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg to blend. Increase oven to 325°. As it heats, bake pecans in a shallow pan until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 4
4

Add bread and cranberries to molasses mixture; toss to coat. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until two-thirds of liquid is absorbed, 12 minutes. Stir in pecans.

Step 5
5

Generously stuff apples with bread mixture, mounding it. Set in a 9- by 13-in. baking dish plus a smaller shallow dish.

Step 6
6

Bake until each apple is very tender when pierced, about 1 hour; check after 40 minutes and tent loosely with foil if they're getting dark. Serve warm in shallow bowls with ice cream and caramel sauce.

Step 7
7

Make ahead: Prepare through step 5 and chill airtight up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature (2 1/2 hours) before baking.

Step 8
8

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Baked Apples with Cranberry Molasses Bread Pudding