It’s a recipe that’s all over Germany and Austria and it’s called differently in every region. Some call it Scheiterhaufen (pyre), some call it Ofenschlupfer (oven-slipper), Brotpudding (bread pudding) or Michel when it’s made with cherries. They all have in common that they use up stale bread, usually cut into slices and then layered with fruit and doused with a custard before it’s baked.
My version uses very dry bread (as in roasted cubes), hardtack or Zwieback (twice baked milk bread), because that’s what’s pantry stable and always available. I wouldn’t want to bake a bread and then wait a day or two, just to make this dessert.
You might remember last week’s bread failure. This recipe is using up some of the dried bread cubes I made from the failed buns.
All you need are some staples:
- 200g dried bread cubes
- 4-5 apples (peeled, cored and roughly chopped)
- 100g sugar
- 600g milk
- 2 packs vanilla custard powder (ingredients total: 70g cornstarch, a bit of vanilla, beta carotene for color)
- 4 eggs
- 200g cultured cream
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar with a bit of cinnamon mixed in
- some shaved almonds if you feel like it (not in the picture)
If you’re using a pie dish like I did, you’ll have some of the custard mix left over and end up with a denser result. If you use a big baking pan, everything should fit nicely and there’ll be more custard in between soft but slightly chewy pieces of bread and apple.
Butter your baking dish and place the dried bread as the bottom layer. Otherwise the bread will float later and won’t be able to suck up all the yummy liquid.
Mix milk, eggs, custard powder, sugar and cultured cream. A blender works best, no lumps.
Add the cut up apples on top of the bread, then cover generously with the custard mix.
Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon mix and add a few shaved almonds if you like.
Now let it rest for half an hour, so the bread can soak up the liquid goodness. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 175°C / 350F.
Bake for about 45 minutes. The top should be golden and the custard set. If you insert a knife into the bake, it needs to come out clean.
Enjoy the dessert bake with a bit of ice cream or a drizzle of vanilla sauce.