Not to be confused with its bread and butter cousin, this pudding is of the savoury persuasion. It's made with pancetta, Granny Smith, parsley and rosemary and a rich gruyère custard.
- 8 cups bread cubes cut into 2 cm dice (such as a country boule, crusts removed)
- 55 g unsalted butter
- 85 g pancetta, cut into 1 cm dice
- 2 brown onions, chopped
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
- 125 ml (½ cup) sherry (medium or dry)
- 1½ tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 5 extra-large eggs
- 450 ml thickened (heavy) cream
- 225 ml chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 225 g grated Gruyère cheese
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta, increase the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until starting to brown. Stir in the onion, celery and apple and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the sherry, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
Next, beat the eggs, cream, chicken stock and three-quarters of the cheese together in a very large mixing bowl. Add the bread cubes first, then the vegetable mixture, stirring well to combine. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak. Stir well and pour into a shallow 750 ml (3 cup) capacity gratin dish (about 33 cm x 23 cm). Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is browned and the custard is set. (Insert a knife in the middle to check.) Serve hot or warm.