Melt butter using a medium sauce pan on medium heat.
Begin whisking while adding the flour to the melted butter. Slowly add the brown sugar gently whisking to blend the butter, flour, and the brown sugar together.
Now slowly add the diced apples, apple pie spice and water, stir and cover.
Continue to cook over medium heat until the apples are soft. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.(Stir occasionally. )
Remove from the heat. Strain through a strainer, reserving the hot juice from the apples. (The juice will be added to the cooked bread pudding)
Set aside the apples to allow to cool a little.
Bread pudding directions:
Add the stale bread to the baking dish. Evenly spread it out throughout the baking dish. Space out the bread pieces before adding the cooked apples. Watch out when working with the apples. Remember they will still be a little hot while spreading them over the bread. (Work the apples around to get between the bread)
Whisk the eggs, milk, melted butter, vanilla, brown sugar (1/2 cup), apple pie spice, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Pour this mixture over the top of the apples and bread. Using your hands press down on the bread very lightly. Transfer to the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Pull out of the oven so you can carefully touch the center to see if it is done. (If the bread pudding feels dense and firm that means that the eggs are cooked.) If it is not done return to to oven. If it is done carefully pour the reserved cooked apple juice all over the top of the baked bread pudding.
Serve the bread pudding warm. You can add a dollop of fresh whipped cream of a scoop of ice cream.
We store the leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator. Then as you want you can heat up the bread pudding adding toppings as you wish.