Having leftover Challah is an ever present dilemma. Many people eat less bread no matter how seductive the yeasty honey infused aroma of home baked challah is. It wounds me to have to throw it out so  I began to slice it, save it in freezer bags for French toast or just plain peanut butter and jam sandwiches. With Rosh Hashanah coming up, freezer space is at a premium. I have all three of my refrigerator-freezers turned on now and room is still hard come by. I decided that all of these freezer bags with challah had to be used in something. I thought, how about bread pudding; how about apple bread pudding; and how about make it dairy-free, parve, so it can be served at dessert for the holiday?
Serves 8 to 12
1 1/4 pounds of sliced homemade challah
4 extra large eggs
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/ 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 large Pink Lady or Honey Crisp apples
1/ 2 cup brown sugar
1/ 3 cup maple syrup
1/ 3 cup coconut oil plus 2 tablespoons
1/ 2 cup raisins
1/ 2 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/ 4 cup brown sugar
1/ 2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 350°F. Begin by slicing bread into 1 and 1/ 2 inch cubes, big chunks, and placing them in a large bowl. Crack eggs into a medium bowl, add almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest and then, whisk to blend. Pour liquid over challah cubes. Toss to coat bread and let it stand while you prepare apples.
Peel apples, slice in half and take cores out using a melon ball scoop. Use a paring knife to remove stems. Slice apples in thin slices, slice all slices in half, and place them in a medium bowl. Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar, maples syrup and coconut oil to pan. Stir and add apples. Sauté apples until they are beginning to caramelize and sauce looks a little syrupy. Remove apples from heat.
Add apples with all of sauce in pan and raisins to soaking bread cubes and gently combine. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour bread and apples into baking dish.
In a small bowl combine pecan halves, coconut oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix with spoon or your fingers (I wear a non latex glove). Distribute pecan halves over top of bread pudding. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.