First up is something I can't even believe I even considered making - it is called Apple Cinnamon Croissant Bread Pudding. Now, Darryl and I do not like Bread Pudding. End of story. So, why in the world did I try this? Well, we do like Croissant's . . and Apples. But, we were both very surprised to discover that we liked it!! I viewed this more as the "egg" dish for our meal since, that is what it really is :-)
APPLE CINNAMON CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING
12-15 large Croissants, each sliced lengthwise with a bread knife into 3 long pieces
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup prepared caramel sauce for drizzling, optional
The day before serving, generously butter a deep 2-quart baking dish. Line the bottom and sides of the dish with some of the croissant slices, starting with the bottom and cutting and trimming the croissants as needed. Leave a little edge of croissant extending above the rim of the dish to support the pudding as it puffs.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ½ cup sugar and vanilla. Pour half of the milk mixture into the center of the bread-lined dish. Top with a layer of the apples slices and the raisins, and then cover with a layer of croissant slices. Repeat until the dish is filled, ending with a layer of the croissants. Set the dish on a plate to catch any overflow, the pour the remaining milk mixture over the top. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining ½ cup of sugar; sprinkle over the top, then dot the top with butter. Cover and refrigerate until all the liquid is absorbed, 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350'. Uncover the dish and place in oven. Bake until top is browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
In a bowl, whip the cream until it starts to thicken.
Serve warm and spoon some of the lightly whipped cream over each serving or in a bowl alongside
The second recipe was our "meat" dish and was the Sausage and Apple Braid. This was very good and very easy to make - the flavor will be determined by the type of sausage you use, so make sure and use your favorite.
SAUSAGE AND APPLE BRAID Serves 6 to 8
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry dough, thawed, but chilled
10 ounces pork sausage
1 egg beaten
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 small apples, grated
¾ cup dried herb stuffing mix
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2/3 cup grated cheese, Cheddar, Gruyere or Swiss
Beaten egg for brushing
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400'. Roll out pastry to an 18'x 14' rectangle and place onto a greased cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix sausage, 1 beaten egg, pepper, onion, apples, stuffing mix, parsley and cheese. Spoon filling down center of pastry, leaving about 2 ½-inches of pastry at top and bottom and 4 inches on each side of filling. Brush edges of pastry with beaten egg and fold the top and bottom of pastry over the filling. Make 3-inch cuts at ½-inch intervals down each side of pastry. Fold 1 strip over filling from alternate sides until filling is completely enclosed. Crush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, until golden. Serve hot or cold.
|Place the sausage mix in the middle of the pastry sheet and mold the ends of the dough around the meat.|
|Cut slits in the dough on each side and than bring them up over the meat - almost like braiding.|
|Mine got a little squished at the end but you get the idea.|
|The finished product - isn't it pretty?|