1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup pecans (chopped)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cane or white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
6 cups day old bread cut into cubes
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the pecans and sauté for about 5 minutes till toasted – watch carefully. Add in the maple syrup and cook a further 30 seconds. Remove form the pan and place on a plate to cool.
In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter, add the apples and sauté for a few minutes till lightly golden. Add in the brown sugar, cinnamon and milk and simmer for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add in the sugars, vanilla, spices and milk and mix well. Add in the bread, zest and apple mixture and stir. Let the bread soak in the liquid mixture and place on the counter, stirring occasionally till the liquids are absorbed, about 30 minutes.
Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan and pour in the bread mixture.
Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes, then increase the heat to 400 and cook a further 10 minutes till the top gets golden brown.
Serve warm. Can be served with whipping cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.