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This dessert is perfect for holiday time and would be very fitting for Christmas morning breakfast. If you’re not keen on the pomegranate arils, even though it gives this a very refreshing and sweet crunch, try using dried cranberries reconstituted in Grand Marnier.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Butter the bottom and sides of a round 2-quart baking dish and set aside. You can also use eight 4 ounce ramekins.
Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until steaming, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn off heat and let the milk cool slightly.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; gradually whisk in sugar. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until blended. Whisk in vanilla, zest, Grand Marnier, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.
Add bread and pomegranate arils to the milk mixture; gently fold together. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
In a medium sized bowl toss the apples in the lemon juice.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add the 1/4 cup butter and swirl until melted and starts to foam. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter. Arrange the apple slices on their sides in the pan in an even layer. Without stirring, let the apples begin to brown just slightly. Remove the pan from the heat when they do. You don’t want to overcook the apples too much because they’ll continue to cook in the oven.
Use a fork to transfer the apples to the prepared baking dish, arranging them decoratively in a circle and slightly overlapping them if necessary. Use a heatproof silicone spatula to scrape any remaining syrup over the apples.
Set the baking dish in a shallow baking pan. Spoon the bread and custard mixture into the baking dish. Press down on the bread until it is submerged in the custard. Place the baking dish (inside of the baking pan) in the oven. Add warm water into the shallow baking pan until it is a quarter of the way up the sides of the baking dish.
Bake until the pudding is browned on top and set in the center, about 1 hour. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool.
To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pudding. Place a serving platter over it and invert the pudding onto the platter. Garnish with powdered sugar, caramel sauce, and pomegranate arils.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!