This bread pudding from chef Einat Admony brings two classic Rosh Hashanah flavors, apples and dates, into one dessert. The bread is first toasted to help dry it out a bit, then soaked in a bath of milk, cream, calvados and more to add richness and flavor, and finally tucked into the oven. Most of the cooking can be done the day before serving: assemble the pudding, cover it with foil, and refrigerate overnight. The following day, let it come to room temperature on the counter while the oven preheats.
Two 1-pound loaves of challah, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 20 cups)
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon apple liqueur, such as calvados
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 medium apple, cut into ¼-inch pieces
½ cup pitted dates, cut into ¼-inch pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the challah cubes evenly on the sheet. Bake until lightly toasted and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the sugar, eggs, and liqueur in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk and cream to combine. Add the toasted challah and gently toss the mixture to evenly coat the cubes. Fold in the apple and dates and allow to soak for 15 minutes.
Lightly grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with butter and spread the bread mixture evenly in the dish. Drizzle with the melted butter and cover the surface of the bread pudding with foil (grease the foil lightly to keep the underside from sticking to the pudding). Bake for 40 minutes until bubbling and cooked through.
Increase the oven to 425°F. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top of the pudding is a deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve warm.