Bread Pudding with Ham, Leeks, and Cheese
Using both Gruyere and fontina gives this savory dish complex flavor -- and they melt beautifully. Serve it with our Wilted Baby Spinach with Crispy Shallots.
- Servings: 8
Photography: John Kernick
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2004
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish
- 1 bunch leeks (4 to 6), white and palegreen parts only, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons, and rinsed well (about 3 heaping cups)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 8 large eggs
- 1 quart milk
- 8 slices challah or brioche (1/2 inch thick)
- 6 ounces thinly sliced ham
- 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese (4 ounces)
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a 9-by-13- inch casserole dish. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook leeks, covered, until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a small bowl.
Whisk together eggs and milk. Whisk in the salt and pepper. Set batter aside.
Layer the bread, ham, reserved leeks, thyme, and cheeses shingle-style in the buttered dish. Pour batter over top; press gently so bread absorbs liquid.
Bake until puffed and golden brown (tent with foil if edges brown too much before center is set), about 1 hour.