2tbspfresh sagechopped, plus more for garnish if desired
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool when done.
While the bread cubes are baking melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, sauté for 6 minutes, stirring frequently Add the apples and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, broth, cream, salt, pepper and thyme together. Stir in the bread cubes and continue mixing until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Add the apple mixture and the sage; stir to combine.
Spray a 9" springform pan with cooking spray. Add the mixture to the pan and spread into an even layer. Bake at 375° for 40 - 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the edges are crispy.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the pudding and then release the springform pan. Carefully remove the bread pudding from the pan. To serve you can either leave the pudding on the bottom of the springform pan or carefully slide the entire thing onto a serving dish then cut into slices.
While this recipe is designed to make 8 servings you can easily slice the pudding prior to serving and create 12 - 16 small pieces for a buffet or larger group.