- 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 English muffins, separated and cut into quarters
- 1 pound Canadian bacon, cubed
- 8 medium asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- One 0.9-ounce package Knorr Hollandaise sauce mix
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 12 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon white pepper
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Pinch of white pepper
- Pinch of cayenne
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking dish with the softened butter.
For the bread pudding, arrange the English muffin pieces on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until toasted and crunchy. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Canadian bacon and cook until light brown. Add the asparagus pieces and cook, turning frequently for 4 minutes. Add the toasted English muffin pieces to the bacon-asparagus mixture and toss well. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle chives over the top.
Put the hollandaise sauce mix and milk into a large bowl and whisk well. Add the eggs, half and half, salt and white pepper, and whisk until well-blended. Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Make the hollandaise sauce while casserole is baking.
For the hollandaise sauce, melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop until frothy, but not boiling. Put the yolks, lemon juice, salt, white pepper and cayenne in a blender. Blend to combine. With the blender running, gradually add the melted butter. The sauce will thicken. Taste and add a little more lemon juice, salt or white pepper as needed. To keep the hollandaise sauce warm if the casserole is still baking, place the blender container in a pan of hot water. If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in 1 tablespoon hot water to thin it out.
Cut the bread pudding into wedges and serve topped with a generous pour of hollandaise sauce.