Camembert and Ham Bread Pudding

Our Chopped Dinner Challenge this week was Camembert. We decided to take all the flavors on a traditional cheese plate — ham, cheese, bread[, and fruit — and make one dish, hence this cheesy bread pudding. Chopped Basket Ingredient: Camembert]

Total Time:
50 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
5 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the ramekins
  • 8 ounces camembert cheese with rind
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette, bottom crust discarded, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 8 cups)
  • One 8-ounce piece Virginia ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large fennel, halved, cored and thinly sliced (about 2 cups), fronds reserved
  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Green salad, for serving, optional
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with 1 rack set on the middle shelf and 1 rack set on the bottom shelf. Fill a large baking dish halfway with warm water and place on the bottom rack.

  • Butter eight 8-ounce ramekins and place on a baking sheet. Slice the cheese into 1/2-inch cubes and lay on a plate to keep them from sticking together.

  • Whisk the heavy cream and eggs together in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Add the baguette cubes and ham. Stir to combine.

  • Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, fennel and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly softened and browned around the edges, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the apples, season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly softened and browned around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until the wine has completely absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Add the apple mixture along with the cheese cubes to the beaten eggs, and stir to combine.

  • Evenly divide the bread pudding among the ramekins. Bake until a paring knife inserted into the center of a bread pudding comes out clean and hot, 18 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Allow the bread puddings to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Garnish each ramekin with a fennel frond and serve alongside a lightly dressed green salad.


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