- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Two 9-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 pound crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 5 cups milk
- 5 large eggs
- 4 egg yoks
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the artichoke hearts, shallots and thyme, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat, stiffing occasionally, until the shallots have softened, about five minutes.
Meanwhile, spread the bread cubes in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Add the artichoke hearts and Gruyère and toss well. In a bowl, whisk the milk with the eggs, egg yolks, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour the custard evenly over the bread and sprinkle with the Parmesan.
Set the baking dish in a large roasting pan and add enough hot water to the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top of the pudding is well browned. Let cool slightly before serving.