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Easter Brunch Perfection: Mock Cheese Soufflé

Easter lunch is always one of my favorite meals of the year. There’s nothing more joyful than gathering the last of the daffodils from the yard and arranging them with Lenten rose and other tender spring blooms on a table festooned with bunnies and eggs and the collected memories of Easters past. And a menu of spring lamb, fresh asparagus and various lemony and other sugary desserts feels like one more way to welcome in spring.

For many years now, Julia Reed’s mock cheese soufflé has been a staple of my Easter menu. Not only is it easy, delicious and foolproof, it’s also a showstopper and makes my guests think I’ve whipped up a much-more-complex true soufflé à la Julia Child, something I’ve failed at everytime I’ve tried. This tasty cheesy slightly tangy soufflé is the perfect accompaniment to lamb or beef, spring peas and asparagus.

INGREDIENTS

  •  Softened butter for greasing dish and spreading on bread
  • 8 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  •  Dash cayenne pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Butter an 8-cup soufflé dish.
  2. Butter each slice of bread on one side and cut into four squares. Layer half the bread, buttered side up, in the bottom of the dish. Cover with half the grated cheese. Repeat. Place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour over the bread and cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the soufflé and bake on the center rack until the top is browned and the soufflé is bubbling around the edges, about 45 minutes.

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