Autumn, Sweet

Apple brioche pudding

Warm and comforting, but not too heavy, this is the perfect autumn pud!

The sharpness of the cooking apples cuts through the sweet creaminess of the bread, and adds a welcome contrast. What I love about this recipe is how adaptable it is: you can add all sorts of other ingredients if you like, such as a handful of raisins or sultanas, a bitter-marmalade glaze, and toasted pecans or hazelnuts.

The sky's the limit, depending on your personal taste – but I've decided to keep this version simple. The brioche rolls and apples are the stars of show, sweetened only with maple syrup.

I've used a vegan custard powder to make my custard base, which is a mix of cornflour, natural flavourings and annatto, which is made using the seeds of the achiote tree native to Brazil and Mexico. But if you like, you can simply use cornflour or starch, and add a small pinch of turmeric to create that gorgeous rich yellow hue.

SERVES:
06-08

Ingredients

For the custard

500ml dairy-free milk – I used oat

3 heaped tbsp custard powder, or cornflour and a pinch of turmeric

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp grated nutmeg

For the pudding

8 vegan brioche rolls, chopped into large chunks

1-2 Bramley apples, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tbsp demerara sugar or coarse brown sugar

2 tbsp maple to glaze

To serve

Vegan vanilla ice cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6, and grease a baking dish with plant-based butter or oil.
  2. Add all the custard ingredients to a blender, and give it a quick blast to combine until smooth. Pour the custard mix into a saucepan and heat gently until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Scatter the brioche chunks in the baking dish, then tuck the apple slices randomly around the bread, or arrange them in layers, depending on how neat you'd like your pudding to look.
  4. Pour the custard over the top, and sprinkle with the sugar.
  5. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until bubbling, and golden and crisp on top. Remove from the oven, and while it's still hot, brush with maple syrup to glaze.
  6. Leave to cool a little, before serving with vegan vanilla ice cream.

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