This pudding, compliments of Thomas Sidney Hanemann of Memphis, Tennessee, is often served with vanilla ice cream or a Southern-style hard sauce.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch (or other shallow 3-quart) baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt; add bread. Cover with plastic wrap; weight with another bowl. Let stand until bread is soaked through, about 20 minutes.
Fold in apples, raisins, and 4 tablespoons melted butter; pour into prepared baking dish. Dot top of bread pudding with thin slivers of remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter.
Bake until pudding is set and lightly golden on top, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve warm.
For the sauce, mix together 1/2 cup each softened butter and sugar with 1/4 cup whiskey.