It’s not fall in my mind until Apple Fest happens in Lincoln Square. This year we baked over 800 of our famous Apple Pies, and we had Lincoln Avenue smelling amazing for the better part of a week. There’s a lot of hard work and love that goes into baking all those pies, and I love seeing over 4000 people get to enjoy the fruits (literally) of our labor.
All that pie got me excited for what other delicious apple dishes I could make this fall. When I came across some leftover croissants that were past their prime, I knew immediately I had the start of delicious bread pudding in the works! This Apple and Bacon Croissant Bread Pudding is simple to make, and perfect for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or quite frankly, anytime.
Apple-Bacon-Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding
2 Tablespoons butter
8-12 croissants (8 cups when cubed)
12 eggs (6 whole and 6 egg yolks)
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
8 Granny Smith apples (or any good baking apple will do!), diced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
8 slices of bacon
1. Butter a 9x11" baking dish (I love Emily Henry or Le Creuset!).
2. Cut 8-12 croissants, depending on size, into 1-inch cubes.
3. Whisk together whole eggs, egg yolks (save the whites for another recipe of your choice), heavy cream, milk, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
4. Add cubed croissants to the mixing bowl, set aside to soak for at least 15 min (overnight works too, if you’re planning ahead).
5. Cut bacon into ½ inch pieces, and cook over medium high heat until crispy.
6. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
7. Add the brown sugar to the bacon fat, along with the cinnamon and stir until a caramel like sauce develops (don’t worry if it seems to be crystallizing – the apples will fix that!).
8. Add diced apples to the pan, and saute until combined and slightly soft. Add bacon, stir to combine. Set aside.
9. Add half of your bread mixture to the baking dish, and top with half of the apple-bacon-caramel mixture. Top with remained bread mixture and remaining apples, drizzling any remaining caramel on top.
10. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until golden brown.
The best part is that you can make this ahead, and bake it the next day if you choose. It travels well and will be the highlight of any potluck! You can add a scoop of vanilla (or cinnamon) ice cream on top for a decadent dessert, or serve it with some creamy scrambled eggs for a delicious brunch! I love pairing it with a mimosa made with prosecco and Journeyman’s OCG, an apple whisky liquor. While I always think this seems to taste better if you’ve picked the apples yourself, you can make this anytime of year, long after apple picking season is over.
If this bread pudding has you dreaming of breakfast, check out The Chopping Block's upcoming breakfast classes:
- The Breakfast Club on Saturday, October 26 Lincoln Square
- Bagel Brunch on Sunday, November 3 at Lincoln Square or Saturday, November 30 at the Mart
Or if you’re now ready to create some fall inspired dishes, check out:
- Autumn Soups and Stews on Monday, October 28 Lincoln Square
- Autumn Farmhouse on Tuesday, November 12 at Lincoln Square or Sunday, November 17 at Lincoln Square or Tuesday, November 26 at the Mart
- Fall Dinner Party on Saturday, November 16 at Lincoln Square or Saturday, November 30 at the Mart
Lastly, if you missed out on Apple Fest, and didn’t get your slice of the pie, you’re in luck… we’re selling Thanksgiving pies. Order yours online today and let us take care of dessert for you! You’ll get a delicious pie and a cast iron skillet that you can keep. And we have Pumpkin Pie too!