Source: Chef Tudie Frank-Johnson, Iron Springs Cafe, Phoenix, Arizona
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
2 pinches salt, divided
1/4 cup Mexican brandy
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups brown sugar, divided
8 cups day-old French bread cubes
4 cups tart green apples, peeled, cored and sliced
6 tablespoons butter, divided
In a saucepan, bring heavy cream, vanilla extract, granulated sugar and 1 pinch salt to a boil; reduce by one-third. Add brandy. Place the bottom of the saucepan in an ice bath; refrigerate until ready to use.
Combine eggs, milk, cinnamon, 1 pinch salt and 1 cup brown sugar; stir to combine. Toss bread cubes with egg mixture. Push bread cubes under the liquid to allow them to soak; let rest 15 minutes.