Butternut squash, apple, spinach and cheese bread pudding
It’s that time of year when all the winter squash comes out and this is one terrific recipe.
1 good sized butternut squash (about 2lbs) halved lengthways, seeded and peeled
2 apples, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 leek stem, diced
1 cup shallots, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 oz fresh baby spinach
A good pinch freshly grated nutmeg
A good pinch of cinnamon
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
3 cups half and half
7 large eggs, beaten
1 cup (at least) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 baguettes, crusts trimmed and bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
Preheat the oven to 400 F
Put the leeks, butternut squash, apples and shallots into a large bowl. Pour in the melted butter, olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, maple syrup, salt and pepper and toss until coated really well.
Tip out onto a baking sheet and roast for about 25 to 30 mins until they are slightly caramelized and softened.
In another bowl whisk the half and half with the eggs, 1/2 cup of the grated parmesan, 1/2 cup of grated cheddar and some salt and pepper. Add the bread cubes and toss gently until well coated.
Spoon half of the mixture into a well buttered baking dish, next layer it with half the roasted vegetables and half the fresh spinach sprinkled over. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and repeat the layers, pressing down as you do it, so it fill the baking dish.
Cover the top with the more grated parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese and any extra egg mixture if you have any.
Bake for about 1 hour until the top has golden spots and the center is firm.
Let it cool for 15 minutes before serving
This pudding can be refrigerated overnight, then rewarmed at 350 F.