Leek Bread Pudding

Leek Bread Pudding
Bread pudding…isn’t that dessert?

Isn’t it only for things like cinnamon, raisins, or chocolate?

No way.

If you’ve tried sweet bread pudding and didn’t like it, don’t let that have any bearing on whether or not you will like this dish, because honestly, I didn’t care much for sweet bread pudding.

But take that bread pudding to the savory side, and you will be BLOWN away. And really, this is basically just a Thanksgiving stuffing, when you think about it.

Savory Brioche Bread Pudding
This dish has convinced me that bread pudding is meant to be savory.

And it also convinces me that Thomas Keller is even more of a genius than I previously thought (this recipe is adapted from his cookbook Ad Hoc At Home, which I received last Christmas).

The star of this dish is these wonderful, aromatic leeks. Cut the tough dark green parts off with a knife:
Thomas Keller's Leek Bread Pudding

Then cut the leeks into rounds and rinse away all the dirt:

Caramelized Leek Bread Pudding

Throw them in a saute pan to soften them up a little bit, with some butter and white wine:

Ad Hoc Leek Bread Pudding

In the meantime, cut your brioche loaf into cubes and spread them out on a sheet tray:

Brioche Leek Bread Pudding

Toast them for 15 minutes until golden brown:

Leek Bread Pudding

Toss the toasted brioche and softened leeks with a custard liquid made with eggs, cream, and milk:

Leek Custard Bread Pudding

Portion the bread pudding into individual dishes or a 9×13 baking dish, doesn’t matter either way, and bake for 70-90 minutes (70 for individual dishes, 90 for the big pan):

Holiday Leek Bread Pudding

Enjoy, and welcome to the savory side of bread pudding!

Other Thomas Keller recipes I’ve made and LOVED:

Leek Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2 very large leeks, cut into rounds (I had 4 cups of rounds)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1 loaf brioche bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Wash the dirt out of the leek rounds by swishing them around in a big bowl of water.
  3. Place the washed leeks in a big sauté pan set over medium high heat. Season with a big pinch or two of salt, and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add the butter and white wine to the pan, reduce the heat to medium low, and cover the leeks partially with a parchment or foil lid. Cook for 30 minutes until the leeks are very soft.
  4. Cut the brioche into cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Toast them for 15 minutes in the oven until they are golden brown.
  5. In a very large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the thyme, milk, heavy cream, and nutmeg. Add in a big pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Add the bread cubes, leeks, and cheese to the custard, and toss to combine. Let this soak for about 10 minutes, tossing the bread every few minutes to give it a chance to soak up the custard.
  7. Pour the bowl contents into a 9×13 dish or little ramekins and bake for 70-90 minutes until the top is golden brown and the liquid has been absorbed by the bread (70 for the individual dishes, 90 for the big 9×13). Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s cookbook Ad Hoc at Home

All images and text ©.