Apple Almond Bread Pudding

Prep Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 1/2 hrs
Servings: 12

1 lb loaf cinnamon-raisin bread, cut into small cubes ( 8 cups) (used leftover buns instead-- no raisins! Also probably didn't use 8 cups -- just enough to loosely fill 9x13 pan no more than 1/2 full )
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (7 ounce) boxes odense almond paste, grated  (used almond extract instead)
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups diced apples, peeled
8 large eggs
3 cups half-and-half cream (used almond milk and a little crème fraiche)
1/4 cup butter, melted
Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Evenly spread bottom with 1/2 bread cubes (4 cups) ALL bread cubes.
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add Almond Paste and raisins. (Add almond extract now or later with liquids). Mix with fingers until the texture of crumbs (or not!). Add apples and toss to combine. Evenly sprinkle filling across bread. Top with remaining 4 cups bread cubes and press down firmly.
Beat eggs, Half & Half and butter (and almond extract?) until well mixed. Pour slowly across bread. Cover with plastic wrap and press down so all cubes are covered with liquid. Refrigerate a minimum of two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 425°F Bake for 30-35 minutes or until puffed, golden and firm to the touch. Rest for 15 minutes before cutting, and sprinkle with powdered sugar or serve with maple syrup.

  •  Baked at 400°F  convection for about 20 min.? 
  • Apples seemed a little too crunchy -- maybe sautéing them in butter very briefly would help?
  • Before baking, sprinkled with sliced almonds and turbinado sugar . (Did not sprinkle with powdered sugar or serve with Maple Syrup.)
  • Served with ice cream for dessert!