Ham and gruyère bread pudding

This savoury take on a traditional bread and butter pudding will satisfy lovers of quiche and shepherd's pie.
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A traditional bread and butter pudding made with milk, egg, sugar, and spice is for some the ultimate use of an old loaf. Like French toast, it is a frugal way to make a delicious dessert. This savoury version with ham and cheese is similar to a quiche, but easier. Adding briefly cooked spinach or chard makes a lovely green version, or sprinkle in a handful of freshly chopped herbs along with the spring onions 

Serves 4

* 4 tbs butter, softened
1 day-old French baguette, cut into 3/4-inch slices
* 113g
 good-quality smoked ham, diced
* 170g gruyère cheese, grated
3 large eggs
* 2 1/2 cups single cream
* s
alt and pepper
* g
rated nutmeg
6 spring onions or shallots, finely slivered

1.  Heat the oven to 190°C (375°F).  Lightly butter a shallow rectangular baking dish. Spread the remaining butter thinly on the slices of baguette. Line the baking dish with half the baguette slices, butter side down.

2.  Arrange the ham and half the cheese over the bread. Top with the remaining baguette slices, butter side up, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

3.  Beat together the eggs and cream, adding half a teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.

4. Grate in a little nutmeg, add the scallions, and whisk again. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, pushing down to submerge the bread if necessary.

5.  Bake for about 45 minutes, until the custard is set but still a bit wiggly and the top is nicely browned. 

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Extracted from One Good Dish by David Tanis (Artisan, £17.99) Copyright ©2013. Photographs by Gentl & Hyers


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