PEAR BREAD PUDDING
This sweet dessert is out of this world when served with warm caramel sauce.
Serves 6 or can be multiplied up to 4 times
• 13 x 9-inch, preferably glass or ceramic casserole baking dish, generously buttered
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
• 4 eggs, beaten
• 1 cup (250 mL) heavy or whipping (35%) cream
• 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon (5 mL) almond extract
• 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) vanilla extract
• 1 pound (500 g) firm ripe pears, peeled and chopped
• 1 loaf Italian bread, crusts removed, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces (about 4 cups)
• 2/3 cup (150 mL) caramel sauce, warmed
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat flour, sugar, cinnamon, eggs, cream, butter, almond extract and vanilla until well combined. Fold in pears and bread.
Pour into prepared baking dish, cover loosely with foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
Bake, covered, in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for about 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Scoop into dessert dishes and drizzle with caramel sauce.
• Italian-style loaf bread works best for this recipe. A standard sandwich bread doesn’t have enough backbone to hold up during baking.
• Make a double batch of this recipe, baking in a lasagna or roasting pan baking dish and increase baking time to 55 to 60 minutes. If you need more servings, make double batches and rotate baking dishes in the oven partway through to ensure even baking.
• Garnish each serving with a few raspberries or sliced almonds.
• Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) semisweet chocolate chips when adding the pears.
Recipe from The Entertaining Encyclopedia: Essential Tips And Recipes For Perfect Parties
by Denise Vivaldo (Robert Rose; October 2009; Softcover/$24.95)