I love a good savory Bread Pudding. My husband loves all bread puddings, but not equally of course. Savory bread puddings are fun because they aren’t as common, but still have the amazing texture you expect from a dessert version. We are doing something really different though. Bread Pudding, of the savory sort, made with grilled cheese sandwiches. I don’t know how exactly my brain got here, but it went something like this: I was thinking I should make tomato soup with the rest of a can of tomatoes; then I recalled it had only been about 9-10 days since I served grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch; so if I was going to make soup I’d have to serve it with something different…. I can’t after all burn my family out on one of my favorite meals. Anyways, somewhere in there I came to bread pudding.
This was a first time with this recipe for me. So we went plain. Straight-forward. No muss, no fuss. That being said, I look forward to making this again with maybe some garlic? perhaps bacon and leeks? or caramelized onions and a tomato & panko crust? Or trying some fancier cheeses, instead of the old-school sliced cheese you grew up on. Maybe make it with Challah or Brioche? – oh there is a future of recipe testing here, indeed.
For now this version – well it tastes exactly like a grilled cheese sandwich, but in the dense and luscious form that is bread pudding. It is fun and amazing and a great gourmet twist on the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup combo.
I apologize – I have no ingredient picture. When I decided to do this – I kinda just “went” with it in the hopes it would be amazing.
Obviously I started with bread (we chose Texas Toast) and good ol’ butter. P.S. I love my butter bell! (or crock, as some say)
GRILLED CHEESE BREAD PUDDING
for the grilled cheese
- about 1 stick of butter, room temperature
- 10 slices of Texas Toast
- 20 slices of American Cheese
equipment griddle or large pan
for the custard
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- salt & pepper, to taste
equipment medium sauce pan, large mixing bowl, and casserole dish
- heaping 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat Griddle to 350; generously butter one side of each piece of bread and arrange on griddle top. Add one slice of cheese to each piece of bread and once they begin to melt start matching them up into sandwiches. Continue cooking, flipping when necessary, to ensure both sides get lightly browned and the cheese melts. Set grilled cheese aside on cutting board to cool.
This is our version of “drying” the bread out as bread pudding is usually made with stale bread.
Tips: I usually grill both sides of my bread for grilled cheese – once you do, you’ll never go back!
TIME TO PREHEAT YOUR OVEN: The stand 350 degrees will do.
Now for the custard:
In a medium saucepan combine: milk, heavy cream, and shredded cheese. (I like to use finely shredded – it melts faster)
Place over medium-low heat and whisk occasionally to ensure cheese melts and it doesn’t scald to bottom of pan.
About 3-5 minutes cooking time.
Once melted set aside until you are ready to temper the egg mixture.
While or after you make the cheese flavored milk part of the custard:
Combine two eggs, salt & pepper, and mustard powder – beat well.
Now once your milk portion is ready we are going to temper the eggs by adding a small portion of the milk to the eggs while whisking.
We want the heat to even out between the two otherwise it will scramble your eggs. Keep adding in small increments, while whisking, until
it is fully combined. Set custard aside while you prepare your dish.
Butter the bottom and sides of your casserole dish with 1-2 Tbsp of butter.
I used my 10.5 inch oval dish which is 1.75qts for this dish.
Now, do you remember our beautiful Texas sized grilled cheese? Let’s chop those babies up now that they are cool:
I quartered four of my five grilled cheese sandwiches. I started with a layer down the middle, then put 3 quarters on one side, then the other. My final grilled cheese got cut into eighths and I used the adorable little triangles to fill in random nooks and crannies. It doesn’t really matter how you slice it – it’s gonna puff up and become it’s own beautiful thing.
Now pour on as much of the custard as possible, it won’t be all of it, but don’t fret it will fit soon…
Squish the bread down with your fingers (or a spoon…) to help it soak up the custardy goodness.
Walk away and let it sit for about 15 minutes. It will absorb all that liquid like so.
Now we can pour the rest of the custard mix on:
You should have some bread corners and bits sticking out – it’s okay it will just brown up and be lovely.
Top your dish with grated parmesan chesse and put it on a cookie sheet – we are ready to rock and roll.
Pop that baby in the middle of your oven on a cookie sheet and
BAKE for 1 hour & 20 minutes, or until the middle is set and the top is browned.
See how it puffed up like a heavenly sandwich souffle?
It won’t last though – it deflates into a lovely bread pudding. Which is okay, because now it’s time for the best part – eating it.
We served ours with some Rich Tomato Soup I made while it was in the oven. I’ll share the recipe soon – it has a secret family ingredient I think you will love.
See all those lovely layers of custard baked bread and cheesy goodness.
This truly was a fun dish and I hope you enjoy it too.