savory bread pudding // apples + chard + pancetta + cheddar

With the changing of the seasons, our appetites tend to get a bit bigger than normal. We are always craving bigger and more satisfying meals. However, eating meals like that takes time and planning. Which for us, is in short supply, especially during breakfast. Thinking about it, that's probably a good thing though. Being able to accommodate every one of our cravings would probably not feel so good once things start to thaw.

This recipe fits nicely into that middle ground. Plenty of green veggies, so at least you feel like you are kind of doing it right. But with a little hit of meat and cheese, so it's still hearty enough to satisfy you on a cold morning.  Everybody wins.

savory bread pudding
apples + chard + pancetta + white cheddar

  • 1 regular-ish sized baguette, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups chard leaves cut into chiffonade (set stems aside for another use)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup diced pancetta
  • 6 oz good quality white cheddar
  • 1 gala apple thinly sliced, cored and halved
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
***If you happen to have a cast iron skillet that is big enough, you can use it for this entire process.  Otherwise, you will need a saute pan and a casserole for baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  If using casserole, lightly butter bottom and sides.

Over medium heat, brown pancetta until nice and crispy.  Remove to a paper towel to drain.
Remove any excess fat from the pan, leaving enough to cook chard.  Add chard to the pan and cook for a minute or so, just until chard begins to soften.  Remove chard from the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, dijon, and teaspoon of salt.  Whisk together well.

In casserole, or skillet, place half of the bread in an even layer.  Top with half of the chard, pancetta and cheese.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Pour egg mixture over the top and let sit for about 30 minutes. (You can also do everything up to this point the night before.  Top with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge overnight.  Make sure to let it come up to room temp for about 30 minutes before baking )

Top with apple slices.  Bake on the middle rack for 45-55 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!