If there would be only one vegan recipe for autumn, this would definitely be a vegan apple pie. Any vegan apple pie, raw vegan or baked works! In fact, if I think of the first three images that come to my mind when I hear the word «autumn», I will definitely end up with the brown leaves above and below the trees, the smell of the earth after the first rain – I know, this is not a visual image but a whole experience- and the image of a freshly baked, crusty apple pie just as it comes out of the oven.
Since the beginning of October, we have made several vegan apple pies as well as other apple – based desserts such as my crispy cereal bars. However, the one dessert that we enjoy more often is a vegan, oil-free apple and bread pudding which is also one of the easiest, quickest and healthiest desserts I can think of. The ingredients to make it are really simple and cheap: apples, stale bread, a plant-based milk of choice and maybe some brown sugar or any other sweetener we like.
In this simple but special apple pie pudding I appreciate that it takes minimal effort to prepare, it makes good use of simple ingredients we all have at home and it has a fantastic apple – bread – cinnamon taste and fragrance which is reminiscent of autumn, holidays, Christmas, warm clothes, carpets, afternoons drinking coffee with friends. Usually I like to garnish it as soon as it comes out of the oven with a simple vanilla flavored cream and of course I let it rest for at least half an hour before serving it.
- 1 medium bread loaf – white or whole wheat – (weighing about 300 grams)
- 2 medium apples peeled and cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup blond raisins
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 240 ml plant-based milk without sugar or sweeteners (soy milk works very well)
- 240 g unsweetened apple sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour flour
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp (85 g) of brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cognac or orange juice
for the vegan vanilla custard cream
- 1 3/4 plant-based milk, divided
- 3 tbsp heaped brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp corn starch or rice starch
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract or vanillin
1. Cut the bread into slices, two centimeters thick and then cut each slice into cubes.
2. Put the bread, apple, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl and mix with a spoon.
3. In another bowl, mix the vegan milk with the apple puree, cognac, sugar and flour until a homogeneous mixture is formed. Pour in the bread mixture and mix well.
4. Line a 25×16 cm baking pan with a non-stick baking paper and transfer the apple pudding mixture with a spoon, taking care not to leave any gaps. Gently press the surface to flatten.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 oC for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.
6. In the meantime, prepare the custard cream. Keep 1/2 cup of milk and pour the rest in a saucepan along with the sugar and bring to a boil. In the remaining milk, dissolve the starch and the vanilla. Then pour the starch mixture into the boiling milk and mix with a wooden spoon for 5-10 minutes until creamy. Transfer it to a glass or metal bowl and cover its surface with a clear film to prevent crust formation.
7. When the apple pudding comes out of the oven, pour over it half of the cream and let cool for at least half an hour. Serve hot with an extra spoonful of cream.
Note: In this recipe I use rustic bread and in its most rustic form, that is to say, with the core, first of all because we do not buy packed bread. Many of the packed toast breads contain animal-derived ingredients, preservatives, hydrogenated fats and sugar. So we prefer to consume bread from local bakeries or homemade and with whole wheat flour. Rustic bread gives a nice, chewy texture to the pudding.
To make homemade apple sauce find instructions here.