Challah Chestnut Bread Pudding
My son Harrison loves challah, so anything that can be made with challah makes him extremely happy and if he’s happy, so I am…and I’m always buying challah, but what we don’t eat gets stale. Bread pudding is the perfect way to use the leftover bread so it’s not wasted, and challah works well because it’s a little sweet, a nice note in this savory, seasonal version. Chestnuts have such a short season that I always want to take advantage of them while I can. You can roast your own chestnuts if you have the time, but no guilty-mother complex if you take a short cut and use prepared ones. This dependable dish can be on the holiday dinner table and just as easily go to breakfast or brunch for sleep-over crowds or an open house. If you’re on a guest list, it travels well. Do yourself a favor and make ahead when you have time and freeze. To me holiday comfort food is all about casseroles, bread pudding, pot pies, and other family style dishes that can be passed in a pretty casserole dish.
- 6-8 cups fresh challah loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or almond milk
- 1 1/2 cup roasted chestnuts (fresh, canned or frozen), peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and rosemary, cook, stirring until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and the heavy cream. Gently fold in the bread cubes, and chestnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the bread pudding to a 12-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set and the top is golden brown. Let pudding set for 10 minutes before serving.