1/2 Cup Skim milk
1/4 Cup Heavy cream
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
5 Slices of Canadian ham (2 1/2 Oz.), diced
3/4 Cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. plus Fresh chives, chopped
1 Tsp. Kosher salt
20 Grinds of freshly ground black pepper
Flaky Salt to finish (Maldon is a favorite)
6 Oz. Brioche bread, sliced and cut into large cubes toasted
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 6-cup muffin tin (or just 6 wells in a standard 12-muffin tin) with cooking spray and put to the side.
2) Slice your bread into thick slices then cut into large chunks. Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until light, golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
3) Mix the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, salt, pepper and one tablespoon of the chives together in a large bowl.
I use Canadian ham and skim milk to lighten this up a bit but I don’t sacrifice on flavor. The richness of the brioche bread and Gruyere make this worthy of your best guests. I am a huge fan of Gruyere cheese (similar to Swiss Cheese) and make Gruyere grilled cheese, ham and Gruyere melts and Gruyere egg bites all the time so this was just another way to work it into a brunch recipe. Here are some frequently asked questions about making the dish.
You can make these and set up the muffin tin and keep in the fridge for up to 4 hours before you bake it off. If you decide to bake these ahead of time, I’d bake these off and let them cool completely. You can then put them in freezer bags and store them in the freezer for up to two months. To serve, I just wrap one in paper towels and microwave for 30-40 seconds. Then I have an easy breakfast ready when I am. If you are doing more than one, you can also just put them on a baking sheet and reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
You want the bread dry so it absorbs the egg custard so drying it out by toasting it is highly recommended. Alternatively, you could cut up the bread and leave it on the kitchen counter overnight to air dry.
While I made individual servings in this recipe, this works great in a large casserole dish too. You’ll just increase the cooking time to 35 minutes. I’d bake the casserole dish covered with foil for 25 minutes then uncover and bake another 10 minutes. Just serve it family style.
No, but I highly recommend the rich, sweet taste of brioche. If you decide to use another type of bread, try sour dough, a french baguette or an Italian loaf of bread. They are hearty enough to stand up to the egg mixture and will do well in this dish.
While I use Canadian ham, you could use your favorite types of ham or cooked bacon. I’d cook the bacon super crispy and let it drain on paper towels. Crumble before mixing into the egg mixture.
There are many Gruyere cheese substitutes that you can use. Swiss cheese would be the most comparable and less expensive choice but other hard and semi-hard cheeses would work too. You might try a combination of Parmesan and mozzarella, or fontina or cheddar jack.
I’m always looking to eliminate saturated fats where I can and when it won’t take away from the taste and flavor. While I lightened this up using some skim milk, you could make this entire dish using half and half, whole milk or even try a non dairy milk. They will all work.
If you like this brunch menu recipe, be sure to check out some of my other favorite breakfast muffins.