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Apple Bread Pudding – a delicious addition to a potluck

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Deb Prince

Thanksgiving. The mere mention of the word brings forth a collision of emotions, from warm memories of holidays past to the stresses of actually cooking the meal for a houseful of guests.

Traditional dishes are expected as well as new ideas for culinary scrutiny. But what do you do when you are a nurse, are married to a nurse, and all your friends are nurses – so everyone is often working on Thanksgiving? Potluck! A potluck sign-up sheet is posted at the nurses’ station, with careful attention to requests. One of the doctors might bring a smoked turkey, there are discussions regarding stuffing, and the mandatory green bean casserole is promised.

My husband’s best friend, Gary, touts the canned jellied cranberry sauce: “It even comes with slicing guides. It’s perfect,” he has said.

But “Mother Prescott” was a no-nonsense nurse I worked with, and she had a wonderful ability to create delicious foods for large gatherings. Fortunately, I was given her Apple Bread Pudding recipe. This dessert found its place among all the other comfort foods on a stretcher-turned-table in a hospital emergency room where I worked.

Perhaps it will find a place on your table, too. Let there be laughter, love, and fellowship wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving.

BENT WILLOW Bakeshop is one spot in Macon County to find quality bread for making this Apple 
Bread Pudding recipe.

APPLE BREAD PUDDING

  • 16 slices of day-old bread torn into 1-inch pieces (I have used a variety: French, Italian, artisan)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups of milk (I have used whole, skim, and 2% with good results)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 TBS. vanilla extract
  • One 21-ounce can of apple pie filling (run a knife through it to cut up the longer pieces)
  • OPTIONAL: 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans (I have used half of a cup, and I once completely omitted them)
  • OPTIONAL: 1 cup raisins
  • ¾ cup melted butter or margarine (I cook only with butter; I trust cows not chemists)

In a large bowl, combine the bread and the sugar and stir until well coated. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and melted butter until foamy. Pour this over the bread and sugar, folding in well. Refrigerate for an hour. Then, stir in the raisins, apples, and pecans. Pour all into a greased (or spray with PAM) 9x14x2 pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45-50 minutes, until firm and browned around the edges. Let cool; then enjoy with whipped cream or ice cream.

Deb Prince has an active registered-nurse license in the State of North Carolina, and will celebrate a 40-year nursing career in May. She is currently awaiting her certification as a family herbalist.