Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 40 mins
Bake: 55 mins
- 3 egg yolks plus 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 cups half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 loaf challah, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta, preferably fresh
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar until blended. In a medium saucepan, whisk 2 cups of the half-and-half and 3 tbsp. honey; bring to a simmer over medium, whisking occasionally. Remove from the heat.
- Slowly whisk the warm half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture; return to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the custard into a medium bowl. Stir in the bourbon, salt and vanilla. Set the bowl over the ice water and stir until the custard is cold, about 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk 3 eggs and the remaining 1/3 cup honey and 1/4 cup sugar. Whisk in 4 cups half-and-half. Add the challah, toss gently and let soak for 15 minutes.
- Gently stir the ricotta and pine nuts into the bread mixture. Stir in the melted butter and spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with the custard sauce.