Back in December, I made a batch of Marroni Al Liquore and I was so excited to try it. I waited a couple weeks to really let the flavours mellow and give the chestnuts a chance to soften and eagerly tucked into my winter treat.
Maybe it’s me, but it really didn’t float my boat. The brandy liquor was delicious, as the vanilla beans, cloves and cinnamon had made for a delicious drink, but the chestnuts were mealy and too boozy for my liking. So my poor jars sat in the fridge, getting pushed to the back as new preserve jars made their way to the front of the line. So today I had an idea, a way to repurpose those chestnuts into something useful, delicious and still decadent.
I present you with:
Chestnut and Apple Bread Pudding with a Brandied Honey Caramel Sauce
1/2 lb loaf of day-old bread, cubed
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup of pureed sweetened chestnuts*
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tbsp maple syrup**
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Brandied Honey Caramel Sauce
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp Marroni Al Liquore brandy
1. Beat eggs and combine the rest of the ingredients. Combine apple and cubed bread and place in greased and wide casserole dish. Pour egg/milk/chestnut mixture over top, stir to combine and let sit for 1 hour at room temperature until bread has soaked up the egg mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, or until tester comes out clean.
2. While pudding is baking, make your caramel sauce. Combine milk and honey and bring to a boil on medium heat, swooshing your pan frequently. When colour begins to turn golden remove from heat, about 8-10 minutes. Don’t be tempted to reduce as it will thicken once its cooled. Let cool for 5 minutes or so before adding brandy. Warm sauce before serving on pudding.
* To make chestnut puree, combine jar of chestnuts with roughly 1-2 tbsp of brandy and grind in a small food processor until smooth. Add more brandy liquid if necessary.
** This is a 100 Mile Challenge friendly recipe, so feel free to substitute 1/4 cup brown sugar if you prefer a sweeter bread pudding. The recipe as printed is on the less sweet side, which suits our preference.