What started out as a way to use up day old bread turned into an all time favorite dish. Is there anyone who doesn't love bread pudding? I certainly do, sweet and savory. This one made with a cheesy cornbread, fresh herbs, and caramelized onions, is particularly tasty and surprisingly light. It makes a great accompaniment to grilled salmon or roast chicken.
This recipe will make more cornbread than you will need for the pudding. Consider that a bonus because it is delicious! You can freeze it for future batches, toast it for a panzanella salad, or do as I do and simply eat it.
adapted from Seattle Kitchen by Tom Douglas
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal (medium ground)
- 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese or pepper Jack cheese, grated
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 T. honey
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter melted, plus extra for buttering the pan
- 1 T. butter, plus extra for buttering the pan
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions from 1/2 large onion
- 3/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 t. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 t. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 t. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1 t. kosher salt
- 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
To make the cornbread -
Preheat oven to 425F. Butter an 8 inch square baking dish. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk and honey in another bowl. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring only until combined. Mix in the melted butter. Pour into the buttered baking pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool, then cut into 1 inch cubes. You only need 2-1/2 cups for the pudding. The recipe will yield about 8 cups.
To make the pudding -
Reduce the oven temp to 350F. Put the 2-1/2 cups of cornbread cubes into a buttered 8 inch baking dish. Heat 1 T. butter in a saute pan and over low heat, saute the onions slowly until soft and brown, around 20 minutes. Do not burn. Remove from heat. Scatter the onions, cheese, and herbs over the cornbread cubes. Whisk together the milk, cream, and eggs. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the cornbread. Allow to sit for 10 minutes so the cornbread absorbs some of the custard. Bake until set and golden, about 40 minutes. Serve hot.
To make in advance:
- Make the cornbread, cube it, then store in the freezer.
- Cook the onions a day ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator.
- Bake the cornbread pudding one day in advance. Store in the refrigerator covered. Reheat covered with aluminum foil in a 375F oven until hot, 35 minutes.
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