Preheat oven to 350 F.
Use a bread knife to cut the bread into approximately 1” size cubes to make 8 cups.
Peel, core and thinly slice the apples until you have two cups of slices. (A mandolin is a good slicing tool here.)
Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter in a heavy bottom skillet such as cast iron over medium- high heat. Add the apple slices, turn the heat down to medium and cook stirring occasionally with a spatula for 3-5 minutes until the kitchen smells strongly of apples and the fruit is starting to turn golden with a few brown edges. Set aside - they will cool somewhat while you prepare the rest.
In a medium saucepan combine the rest of the butter (1/2 cup), 1 cup of brown sugar and the corn syrup. Cook over medium-high heat and whisk occasionally until the mixture is combined and butter is melted. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a 9”x12” baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs together. Add milk, cream, ½ cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add the bread cubes and fried apples. Fold the mixture together gently with a wooden spoon. Spread it into the baking dish.
Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired. (Gives the top a finished look!)
Bake for 50 minutes. The bread pudding is done when it reaches 190F-200F internally with a thermometer or is brown on top with a slight jiggle to the center.
Let rest for 15 minutes, cut into squares and serve with warm caramel sauce and whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.