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CULINARY SOS

Let Them Eat Brioche

April 08, 2001|CINDY DORN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DEAR SOS: I recently visited the Savannah Chop House in Laguna Niguel and tried their amazingly decadent apple brioche bread pudding. Will you print the recipe?

LESLIE K. NUTHEN Santa Monica

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DEAR LESLIE: Wow. Thank goodness decadence is alive and well in Laguna Niguel, huh? This is really, really good (it's the four cups of cream). When you make this at home, after caramelizing the apples, let them cool slightly before adding them to the rest of the mixture.

Apple Brioche Bread Pudding

Active Work Time: 1 hour * Total Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours

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Look for brioche at bakeries and stores such as Gelson's and Bristol Farms. You'll likely need 3 or 4 brioche to equal a pound. You can also make this in 16 (1/2-cup) ramekins.

1 pound brioche

4 cups whipping cream

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

2 cups sugar, divided

12 egg yolks

2 tablespoons cinnamon, divided

4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and quartered

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup golden raisins

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the brioche into 1/4-inch cubes and place them in a large bowl.

Combine the whipping cream and vanilla bean in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

In another bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of sugar and the egg yolks until well incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour 1/4 of the hot cream into the egg mixture, mixing immediately. Return all of the egg mixture to the milk and whisk well.

Sprinkle the brioche with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, then moisten the bread with the cream and egg yolk mixture.

Place the apples in a saucepan with the water, the remaining cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft but hold their shape, 15 to 20 minutes. They will caramelize. Be careful not to burn them. You may have to remove the pieces that are done to a separate bowl, leaving those that are still too hard in the syrup to finish cooking. Let them cool slightly.

Fold the apples and the raisins into the brioche.

Divide the mixture among 8 (8-ounce) ramekins, topping them off with any excess liquid. Place the ramekins in a large baking dish. You may need to use 2 to fit all of the containers. Fill the dish with water so that it reaches halfway up the ramekins.

Bake until the puddings are puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

8 servings. Each serving: 808 calories; 460 mg sodium; 509 mg cholesterol; 44 grams fat; 23 grams saturated fat; 96 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 3.93 grams fiber.

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Towel from Sur La Table stores.

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