Bread and butter pudding gets the Royal treatment with this savoury croissant pudding with Comté cheese and bacon. Post sponsored by Comté Cheese.
Hot on the heels of the mirror glaze white chocolate cheesecake, comes another Mother’s Day recipe… and like the previous one it is a little bit special! I can’t think of a better occasion to make this incredibly delicious savoury croissant pudding with Comté cheese and bacon. Bread and butter puddings tend to be of the sweet variety but they work equally well, if not better, as a savoury dish which can be served for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Normally they are made with stale bread, but I have pushed the boat out and used stale croissants – an oxymoron, true, but there’s a way around it in the recipe 😉
This recipe also gives me another chance to use my favourite French cheese, the versatile and delicous Comté. Comté cheese hails from the Jura region in France and has a rich history spanning centuries. Its production methods are protected (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) and so certain things follow traditions and regulations. The cows producing the milk have to be Montbéliarde or French Simmental and allowed to graze on fresh grass in the summertime. The milk used in the production of Comté is delivered daily to the local cheese dairies known as fruitières which are usually situation within a few miles to ensure freshness. The milk is curdled and pressed into wheels at the fruitières where they stay for a few months to firm up, before being moved to the maturing cellars. Here the affineurs look after them for 4 to 18 months or more; regularly turning, salting and rubbing each one with brine solution.
The wonderfully nutty/creamy taste of Comté develops over this time and then the cheese wheels are assessed for taste and quality. Scores of 14 get the green band, scores between 14-12 get a brown band and those scored below don’t even make the cut and not allowed to be marketed as Comté. The cheese is perfectly addictive sliced and eaten with crackers or bread, but it is also perfect for used in cooking lending its unique flavour to many recipes.
It goes wonderfully well in this savoury croissant pudding which is, needless to say, incredibly rich. It is also so super easy to make and requires few ingredients: Comté cheese, eggs, milk, cream, bacon and parsley. This recipe will easily feed a crowd but it can also be kept and reheated if you have leftovers. Perfect for a festive brunch or a very indulgent breakfast!
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter for greasing
- 5-6 croissants, preferably stale, sliced or cut into cubes
- 8 large eggs
- 240ml | 1 cup milk (I used semi-skimmed)
- 120ml | ½ cup double (heavy) cream
- 150g | 5½oz Comté cheese, finely grated
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic granules (optional)
- freshly ground pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Spread the croissants on a large tray in a single layer and dry out in the oven for 10-15 minutes, this is especially important if you are using fresh croissants.
- Grease an oven-safe deep ceramic dish, 20x28cm (8x11in), with a little butter.
- Grill or panfry the bacon until crisp. Drain on kitchen towels and then cut into small pieces.
- Put the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, salt, and garlic granules in a bowl and lightly whisk together to combine. Season generously with freshly ground pepper.
- Stir in the grated cheese, reserving a small handful.
- Line your dish with the croissant slices or cubes, packing them in so that they fill the dish edge-to-edge.
- Pour half the egg mixture over them and scatter with half the bacon.
- Add a second layer of croissant cubes or slices and pour the remaining egg mixture over them. Scatter with remaining bacon.
- Cover the dish with cling film (plastic wrap) and press down with your hands so that the croissants are submerged in the custard. Place a weighted plate over them and keep in the fridge for 30 mins-1 hour.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and remove the dish from the fridge to come to room temperature.
- Bake for 25 minutes and then sprinkle with the reserved Comté cheese. Continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden.
- Cool for 10 minutes then slice to serve.
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