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Caramelized Onions, Sausage, and Apple Bread Pudding

A savoury bread pudding filled with fall flavours like sausage, caramelized onions, and crispy apples. 



  • 1 pound (450g) Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 large apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and diced
  • 8 cups of day-old rustic bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a nine-by-13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage and diced apples, breaking apart the link with a wooden spoon as it cooks until it's browned and cooked through and the apples have softened. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and combine the bread, dried thyme and sage.
  3. Next up is the caramelized onions. You'll want to use a relatively large stainless-steel pan for this (12 inches works best), so the onions have plenty of room to work their magic. Heat the oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to glisten, add the onions and salt. Cook the onions for about three minutes without stirring. At this point, they will have begun to soften. Stir the onions well, then cook for another three minutes undisturbed. Continue doing this until all the onions have developed colour, about 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the onions have turned a deep brown, occasionally stirring to ensure they don't burn. At this point, the onions will be beautifully caramelized and almost ready. Add the balsamic vinegar and the pepper to the pan and stir to combine. Add the caramelized onions to the bowl and mix.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, and Dijon and pour the egg over the bread mixture. Gently press down on the bread cubes to ensure they absorb some of the liquid. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, occasionally pressing down on the bread to help it soak up the liquid.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the greased baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the pudding is set in the centre. To check for doneness, insert a knife into the centre; if it comes out clean, it's ready.
  6. While the bread pudding is baking, prepare the balsamic glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and sprig of fresh rosemary. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until it reduces by half and becomes syrupy. Remove the rosemary sprig and set the glaze aside.
  7. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the top just before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

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