The pudding can stand by itself or it can be served with ice cream or whipped cream.
4 or 5 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
7 or 8 oz. loaf French-style bread, sliced
2 Jonagold or Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cups milk
1 t. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2 quart casserole or souffle dish and spread the brown sugar evenly over the bottom. Butter the bread generously, stack it, and cut it into 2 inch squares.
Toss the bread with the apples and put them in the casserole on top of the sugar. Whisk the milk, eggs, and vanilla together and pour over the bread. Bake the pudding 40 to 45 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking time varies with the depth of the baking dish. The brown sugar will have melted into a delicious caramel; be sure to include some of it in each serving.