For years I have made cherry cran-apple pie for special occasions. This year, what with getting a new hip and other adventures, time got away from me. Making the holiday dessert was my assignment, so in desperation, I decided to make cherry cran-apple bread pudding—much faster than making a pie!
It was an instant hit. Now I am often asked to “bring that tutti-frutti stuff.” The good news is that this dessert is much lower in fat as compared to a two-crust pie.
- 1 can red tart pitted cherries in water (drain water and save for filling)
- ½ cup dried cranberries (soak in hot water for 10 minutes then drain well)
- ½ cup raisins
- 4 apples, sliced or diced (wash well and leave peeling on)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 scant Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp almond flavoring
- White sliced bread to cover bottom of a 9x13 casserole with two layers
- 1½ cups Egg Beaters® or equivalent
- 2½ cups rice milk or equivalent
- 1 tsp natural vanilla flavoring
Place water drained from canned cherries in a sauce pan. Stir in sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixtures boils and thickens. Remove from heat and add cherries, diced/sliced apples, cranberries, raisins, and almond extract. Mix gently.
Remove the bread slices from casserole and cut slices into 1-inch pieces. Place bread pieces in a large mixing bowl. Add Egg Beaters® and rice milk. Stir gently.
Add fruit mixture and fold into the bread mixture.
Spray the 9"x13" casserole with olive oil.
Pour mixture into the casserole. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place covered casserole in oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees F (or 340 if a glass casserole).
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 30-45 minutes.
Test to see if done. Press the center with your finger. If the pudding is puffy, a little firm to the touch (but not wet), and browned on the top, remove from the oven.
Cool for 30-60 minutes. Spoon into dessert bowls. Spray with whipped topping, if desired.