Herb & Apple Bread Pudding (half recipe)

Serves 4 Beginner
  • 4 cups (¾-inch-diced) country white bread cubes, crusts removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, ½-inch-diced
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • ¾ cup medium-diced celery
  • ½ Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup medium or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1¾ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese, lightly packed, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, tossing once, until lightly browned. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large (10-inch) sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta, raise the heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes, until browned. Stir in the onions, celery, and apple and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the sherry, rosemary, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, cream, chicken stock, and ¾ cups of the Gruyère in a very large bowl. Stir in the bread and the vegetable mixture and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the custard. Pour into a 9 × 9 × 2-inch oven-to-table baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of Gruyère and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve hot.

Make Ahead: Assemble early in the day, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Bake before serving.

Copyright 2016, Cooking for Jeffrey, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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