How to Use Leftover Bread to Make an Applesauce and Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bake or Quiche
This breakfast bake or quiche may sound a little weird, but it's really good! It's also a great way to use up leftover bread, muffins, or rolls (or all three a once, depending on what you have). I especially like it with leftover sweet or cinnamon roles. The bake or quiche, unlike many bread puddings and breakfast bakes, isn't overly sweet, and it includes a hefty dose of protein, thanks to the cottage cheese and eggs. That means the bake will keep you feeling full longer and help you avoid a carbohydrate/sugar crash. The bake is nicely spiced with a little cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg, which all highlight the slight apple flavor of the bake from the applesauce. You can mix up the ingredients for the bake/quiche the night before, refrigerate them, and bake the bake/quiche the next day, if you'd like. I like to use a pie pan to for the bake/quiche, but you could also use a square baking dish. I also sprinkle the top of the bake with nuts--usually walnuts or pecans--some of which sink in to the bake as it cooks. The nuts add a nice crunch to the bake/quiche, but you can leave them out if you prefer. The bake is great for breakfast, and it also makes a nice, light, inexpensive "breakfast for supper" dish. Enjoy!
Applesauce and Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bake or Quiche -- Serves 6+
1 cup of milk (I use 1 percent, and it works fine)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/2 cup of cottage cheese (low-fat is fine)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of allspice
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of salt (optional, as the cottage cheese is pretty salty)
2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of stale bread (about 1 1/2 sweet or cinnamon rolls), crumbled
1/2 - 1 cup of broken walnuts or pecans
Spritz a 9 or 10-inch pie dish or pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl or measure whisk together well the milk, eggs, applesauce, cottage cheese, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt (if you're using it), and brown sugar. Stir in the crumbled bread. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour at room temperature or, if you'd prefer, refrigerate it overnight and bake it the next day. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the bake/quiche mixture into the pie dish. Bake the mixture for 40-45 minutes (a little longer, if it's been refrigerated) or until it is lightly brown and mostly firm (it may be slightly jiggly, but will firm up on standing). Let the bake/quiche cool for a few minutes and dust it with powdered sugar before serving it.