Leek and Gruyere Bread Pudding

March 1st, 2016

Leek and Gruyere Bread Pudding 1

The inspiration for this leek and Gruyere bread pudding came from a side dish that I had in a restaurant in Washington DC last month.  It was served with roasted chicken and a light gravy.  One of the recipe sources that I use quite often is Epicurious.  Both my Daughter-In-Law and I think highly of the recipes found on this source.  It doesn’t hurt that the recipe came first from Thomas Keller.  It was outstanding.

You should use a brioche or challah bread.  The eggy bread adds richness to the casserole.  I adapted the recipe.  I used the same amount of leeks and cheese, but halved the rest of the recipe.

Leek Bread Pudding 2

At the restaurant the bread pudding was served as an individual cake.  So I experimented with cutting rounds out of the finished casserole with a biscuit cutter.  It worked very well and we enjoyed the scraps for another meal.  As an aside, we have not been eating much bread lately, but we made a happy exception for this delightful dish.

LEEK AND GRUYERE BREAD PUDDING (Adapted from Epicurious)

Recipe shown as written.  I used the same amount of leeks and cheese and halved everything else.

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices leeks (white and light green parts only)
    • Kosher salt
    • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 12 cups 1-inch cubes crustless Brioche or Pullman sandwich loaf
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
    • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
    • 3 large eggs
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 3 cups heavy cream
    • Freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese

PREPARATION

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    2. Put the leek rounds in a large bowl of tepid water and swish so that any dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl. Set a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, lift the leeks from the water, drain, and add them to the pan. Season with salt and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. As the leeks begin to soften, lower the heat to medium-low. The leeks will release liquid. Stir in the butter to emulsify, and season with pepper to taste. Cover the pan with a parchment lid, and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until the leeks are very soft, 30 to 35 minutes. If at any point the butter breaks or looks oily, stir in about a tablespoon of water to re-emulsify the sauce. Remove and discard the parchment lid.
    3. Meanwhile, spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, until dry and pale gold. Transfer to a large bowl. Leave the oven on.
    4. Add the leeks to the bread and toss well, then add the chives and thyme.
    5. Lightly whisk the eggs in another large bowl. Whisk in the milk, cream, a generous pinch of salt, pepper to taste, and a pinch of nutmeg.
    6. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Spread half the leeks and croutons in the pan and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup cheese. Scatter the remaining leeks and croutons over and top with another 1/4 cup cheese. Pour in enough of the custard mixture to cover the bread and press gently on the bread so it soaks in the milk. Let soak for about 15 minutes.
    7. Add the remaining custard, allowing some of the soaked cubes of bread to protrude. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top and sprinkle with salt.
    8. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pudding feels set and the top is brown and bubbling.

Printable Recipe

 

18 responses to “Leek and Gruyere Bread Pudding”

  1. Penny at the Comforts of Home says:

    That sounds wonderful! Where did you get the Brioche?

    • Penny says:

      Actually, I got challah bread in December and put it in the freezer. But you could check it a bakery for brioche or maybe Whole Foods.

  2. Mary says:

    This really sounds delicious, Penny. Well worth a try.

  3. Pondside says:

    Thank you, Penny, this is something I will definitely be making. I think it would be good with ham. We have a few sources of good brioche, so I will take your advice and use that.

  4. Monique says:

    I love the individuals!

  5. My husband would be happy if I made an exception too. I love the idea of using a cutter for a pretty presentation…thanks for the suggestion.

  6. Madonna says:

    Penny, You always find the best recipes. I love both presentations. Jacques Pépin says there is nothing like a leek. I agree and there is nothing like brioche. Great pairing of ingredients.

  7. Susan says:

    We’ve had to cut back on carbs a bit after our over-indulgent vacation but this sounds like a wonderful recipe for entertaining -(which we have quite a bit of coming up with several birthday and Easter). I’d love to try make this! I’ll bet it could be made a couple of hours in advance to avoid last minute work too.

    • Penny says:

      I agree Susan. I will be making it next week when we have friends visiting for bike week in Daytona. David is grilling ribs. Will have a 3 bean salad, the bread pudding and one more side to be determined.

  8. Your bread pudding sounds divine Penny. I love the individual servings too. Everyone likes to have their own don’t they.
    Sam

  9. Barbara says:

    We ARE on the same page, Penny! Funny. I used to make a wonderful mushroom bread pudding for my dad…can’t remember where the recipe came from, but after trying this one over the holidays, it’s so much more flavorful than mine. I like Keller’s. too. Like the chives in it and both have gruyere…can’t go wrong there!
    (I’m also posting a shrimp and grits recipe in a few weeks! 🙂 )

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