SAN DIEGO. November 29, 2016– The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is here!
With so much to do as we make our holiday to do lists and checking them twice, finding ways to save time and maintain quality is priceless.
Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding is a delicious way to please holiday guests.
This eye-pleasing dessert will adorn any buffet or dining table while pleasing the palate with deliciously prepared pears as a main ingredient.
Courtesy of Eating Well, Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding may be made one day ahead, and refrigerated until ready to serve:
-2 1/2 cups low-fat milk (or milk substitute)
-4 large eggs
-1/2 cup sugar divided (or sugar substitute)
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
-1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-4 cups cubed, day-old country-style bread, crusts trimmed (4-6) slices (or
-2 tablespoons raisins or currants
-1 teaspoon butter, softened; plus 2 tablespoons divided butter (a butter
substitute may be preferred)
-2 ripe pears peeled, halved and cored
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until steaming (4-6 minutes). Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until
2. Add bread and raisins or currants to the milk mixture; gently fold together. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
3. Butter the bottom and sides of a round, 2-quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put a kettle of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
4. Cut each pear in half lengthwise, and into 4 slices. Place in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.
5. Heat a medium skillet on low heat until it is hot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and swirl until just melted and foam subsides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter. Arrange the
pear slices on their sides in the pan in an even layer. Increase the heat to medium-low and let the pears begin to brown (do not stir). The sauce will caramelize, so adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning (about 10 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and carefully turn each pear slice with a fork. Return to the heat and cook until the sauce is uniformly golden (2-4 minutes).
6. Carefully transfer the pears one at a time to the prepared baking dish. and arrange them decoratively in a circle–slightly overlap them if necessary. Use a heat proof silicone spatula and scrape any remaining
syrup over the pears.
7. Set the baking dish in a shallow baking pan. Spoon the bread and custard mixture into the baking dish. Press down on the bread until it is submerged in the custard. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add the
hot water to the shallow baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
8. Bake until the pudding is browned on top and set in the center (1-1 1/4 Hours). Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool for at least 45 minutes. To serve, run a
knife around the edge of the pudding. Place a serving platter over it and invert the pudding onto a platter.
This beautiful centerpiece dessert may be served once cooled, or refrigerated for up to one day.
Seasonal pears, which is the main ingredient in the Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding recipe, are extremely healthy.
In fact, pears are thought to be helpful in stabilizing type 2 diabetes due to their rich flavonoid content.
Their low glycemic, low calories and low-fat content makes them one of the healthiest of fruits.
Pears are high in fiber, and contain key vitamins and minerals such as copper, boron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E and more.
The skins of pears are recognized containing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which may help to fight cancer.
Brought into the United States during the 1500’s by early European colonists, China has now become the leading producer of pears worldwide.
We can thank the early colonists for bringing pears to America, and can take full advantage of their sublime fresh taste, healthy properties and their versatility as an ingredient in a variety of different recipes.
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and a time when special thought is given to those we hold nearest and dearest.
As Holiday plans unfold, and meal planning gets underway, consider the make-ahead option of an elegant and delightful Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding dessert.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!