TRIPLE GINGER PEAR BREAD PUDDING
Cooking for Two
by Shady Oak Press
Three forms of ginger (grated fresh, ground and crystallized) give surprising pizzazz to the mellow custard and sweet fruit flavor of this pudding. You can vary the quantity of each type of ginger to suit your own taste, or kick it up a notch if you wish. Peaches, nectarines or apricots can be substituted for the pears.
• 6 cups lightly packed cubed [1 1/2 inch] challah or Italian country bread
• 2 cups milk
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup golden raisins
• 2 large Anjou, Bosc or Bartlett pears, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces [about 2 cups]
• 1 cup apricot preserves
• 4 eggs, room temperature
• 1 cup whipping cream
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
• 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat broiler. Place bread in 15xl0xl-inch pan. Broil A to 6 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or until golden, turning once. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 2-quart glass baking dish. In large bowl, -whisk together all remaining bread mixture ingredients except raisins. Stir in toasted bread and raisins. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. Add pears; stir gently to mix. Spread mixture evenly in baking dish. Spoon preserves over bread mixture.
In same large bowl, whisk eggs until mixed. Add all remaining custard ingredients; whisk until blended. Pour over bread mixture, making sure custard evenly coats bread. Sprinkle additional 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg over top.
Bake 65 to 70 minutes or until top is puffed and knife inserted in center comes out almost clean.
Cool slightly on wire rack. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.
* Beer: Grant's Scottish Ale from Washington is rich with lots of hops to give a slightly bitter edge to this dish.
Per Serving: 320 calories, 10 g total fat (5 g saturated fat), 6 g protein, 54.5 g carbohydrate, 105 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 2 g fiber