Ham-and-Cheese Brioche Pudding
Bread pudding, an old-fashioned frugal dessert, usually contains day-old bread, milk, eggs and a bit of fruit, fresh or dried, baked in a sweet custard. This savory version, made with ham and cheese, employs tender buttery brioche. It is easier to make than a quiche, but has a similar delicacy, perfect for lunch or a light supper.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1tablespoon butter, for greasing the pan
- 1(12-ounce) brioche loaf or smaller brioches, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
- 4cups half-and-half or whole milk
- 2teaspoons salt
- ½teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of cayenne
- ½cup thinly sliced scallions
- 6ounces thinly sliced ham, cut crosswise into matchsticks (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 8ounces grated Gouda or Gruyère cheese (about 4 cups)
Step 1Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 11-by-11-inch baking dish. Fill dish with brioche cubes and set aside.
Step 2In a large bowl, beat eggs well. Whisk in half-and-half, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne and scallions. Pour mixture over cubes in baking dish.
Step 3Sprinkle ham and cheese on top of mixture, and press down to make sure everything is submerged. Set baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
Step 4Transfer baking dish and baking sheet to the middle shelf of the oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the dish emerges dry. Let rest for 10 minutes or so before serving.