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Sausage, apple, and cheddar souffle

(Food Styling By Lisa Falso; John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
By Christine Merlo
Globe Correspondent / July 1, 2009

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Serves 6

Every community has recipes for a dish of layered bread, eggs, and milk, which sits in the fridge overnight and puffs in the oven - a little like a souffle. This one is made with sausage, apples, onions, and cheddar. When you have guests, make it a day or two in advance and pull it from the refrigerator in the morning. You’ll look brilliant.

Butter (for the dish)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound turkey or chicken sausage, removed from the casing
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 Fuji or Gala apples, peeled and chopped
3cups milk
6eggs, beaten to mix
1 teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon ground black pepper
16slices white bread
2cups shredded cheddar
1cup panko bread crumbs
1. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the sausage and onions. With a metal spoon, break up the sausage as you cook it, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Tip the mixture to one end of the skillet. Spoon off the excess fat. Stir in the apples.

3. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, salt, and pepper. Dip 8 slices of bread into the milk mixture and arrange them in a single layer in the dish, overlapping slightly to fit them in. Add the sausage mixture, and 1 cup of cheddar.

4. Dip the remaining 8 slices into the milk mixture and arrange them on the dish. Pour any leftover liquid over the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least several hours or preferably overnight.

5. Let the baking dish sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Set the oven at 400 degrees.

6. Sprinkle the dish with the remaining 1 cup cheddar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the mixture turns golden.