In a medium bowl, toss sliced apples with lemon juice and set aside.
Beat eggs with an electric mixer until light and frothy. Add the sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Stir in the butter, half and half and brandy.
Toss the apples, cranberries and pecans with the bread cubes. Place the mixture in a greased 9 X 5 inch loaf pan (or individual custard cups). Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread cube mixture.
cover with foil and weight down the top with a 1 or 2 lb. bag of rice or beans. (This encourages the bread to absorb the liquid). Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325*F. Remove foil and weight and place the pudding in a larger pan filled with 1 inch hot water. Bake for 55 minutes or until set. Increase oven temperature to 425*F and bake 10 minutes more, until lightly browned. Serve warm with room temperature custard sauce.
To make the custard, place half and half and vanilla bean in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until half and half is just about to boil. Remove from heat.
In a metal mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until lightly coloured. Remove the vanilla bean from the half and half, scraping the seeds into the liquid. Stir in the vanilla extract and whisk this mixture into the eggs.
Return to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to thicken and coat the spoon.
Immediately remove from heat and pour into an empty bowl, which you have set over another bowl filled with ice water. (This stops the custard from cooking and prevents curdling) Stir until cooled slightly. Cool for about 10 minutes longer. Serve warm with the bread pudding.