Copyright Gisele Perez—

Bread Pudding with Sautéed Pears

Stale croissants never had it so good. Mixed with golden raisins and shredded coconut, this luscious bread pudding gets crowned with sautéed pears soaked in caramel liqueur or brandy.

Bread Pudding with Sautéed Pears  

Copyright Gisele Perez—  

Makes: 8 1/2-cup sized servings  

5 ounces stale croissants or brioche, cut into small pieces
2 cups half and half
2 eggs
2 egg yolks  

Mix together the bread, raisins and coconut. Fill the well-buttered ramekins loosely with the bread mixture. Alternatively, the pudding may be baked in a small, well-buttered loaf pan and sliced to serve.  

Scald the half and half. Blend the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Slowly whisk the scalded cream into the egg/sugar mixture, and then pour the mixture evenly into the molds.  

Bake at 350°F until set, about 20 minutes.  

Allow the puddings to set before unmolding them. Serve with Sautéed Pears (below) 

Sautéed Pears

I used Lovoka Caramel Liqueur, which is delicious and perfect for pears, but Poire William or plain brandy would also be great with the pears. If using brandy or Poire William, you may increase the sugar slightly, as they are less sweet than the caramel liqueur. —chef gisele perez  

4–5 small firm pears, peeled and sliced
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar (vanilla sugar would be a great touch)
1 ounce Lovoka Caramel Liqueur
1 ounce heavy cream

Put the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is bubbling, add the pear slices. Do not crowd them. They should be in a single layer, so this may require sautéing in two batches. Sauté them until they are slightly softened.  

Sprinkle the pear slices with the sugar, and sauté, turning them over gently, until they just begin to brown on the edges. This may require turning up the heat slightly.  

Turn the heat off, and add the liqueur or brandy. Ignite the liqueur with a match, and allow the alcohol to burn off until the flame dies out.  

Stir in the cream, and allow the liquid to reduce slightly. If the pears have become too soft, remove them with a slotted spoon before reducing the liquid. 

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