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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Savory Roasted Apple, Rosemary and Thyme Egg Casserole

Spring and Fall weekend brunch's are some of my favorite moments in the kitchen. It's a time to shake off the week, watch the sun warm the city and be creative with whatever is left in fridge before going to the farmers market. Summer is beach volleyball time so we don't get many of these lazy start days in the summer.  And winter weekend mornings are just plain for snuggling.

Fall also brings a bounty of apples that just can't be ignored, but it also means the end of my herbs is near and they must be used before they are lost. So I paired the two into a casserole-like concoction similar to a bread pudding or a strata.  And it's tasty.

A little wild rice salad on the side along with a mimosa turned this sweet and savory dish into a well rounded brunch. Make your fall brunch special with this dish today, because the fat and happy weekends are only as far away as the first snuggling snowfall! 

Tips and techniques:  This dish is perfect for left over bread; I happened to have 1 wheat hot dog bun in the freezer and that's all it took for this fabulous dish.  Use whatever bread you have, but it's better to use day old bread then fresh.

Savory Roasted Apple,  Rosemary and Thyme Egg Casserole Bread Pudding

1/2 green apple, cored and sliced
2 Tbls butter
2 Tbls brown sugar
2 Tbls thinly sliced shallots
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbls fresh rosemary
1 Tbls fresh thyme
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 wheat bun (or bread)
1-2 Tbls fig jam

Tear the bun into pieces and set aside to dry out. Roast the apples by sauting them in the butter along with the shallots and the fresh rosemary allowing the shallots to soften slightly, about 2 minutes. Add in the brown sugar and a few turns of fresh black pepper. The butter and brown sugar will come together to create almost a caramel sauce, once that happens, remove from heat and set aside.

 Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, thyme and a little salt and pepper. Drop in the fig jam one teaspoon at a time and whisk once or twice- don't break up the entire jam.

Assemble a layer of bread in the bottom of a small loaf pan, add a layer of apples then repeat until all the bread and apples are added.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread and apple layers, pushing the layers down slightly to absorb all the eggs.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until middle is puffed and set.  Allow to rest for a minute before serving.

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