Apple Pecan Bread Pudding

1 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
3 eggs
8 slices raisin bread, diced
2 c. Half & Half or milk
2 med. apples, green
1/4 c. bourbon or brandy
1 c. sugar

1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg.
vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans in a shallow baking pan and bake until golden, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, place bread cubes in a greased 3 quart or larger Crockery Pot. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Mix lightly together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, add eggs and mix well. Blend in half and half or milk and then stir in bourbon or brandy. Lightly mix pecans with bread and apples. Pour egg mixture over bread. Drizzle with butter. Cover and cook on low until apples are tender when pierced and custard is set, about 31/2 to 41/2 hours. Let pudding stand, covered, for about 15 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

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