Pear-Caramel Bread Pudding
- Prep Time 0:25
- Cook Time 1:00
- 28 Comments
Whenever I cook dinner for my friends Henry and Elliot, they request caramelized pears over vanilla ice cream for dessert. It’s incredibly easy—just sliced pears that I cook in a little butter, brown sugar and vanilla—but the result is a luxurious and deeply flavorful ad-hock warm fruit compote that makes the ice cream melt into rich little caramel-y pools.
The same flavor pairing works well in this simple bread pudding. It’s perfect by itself, but a scoop of cold vanilla bean ice cream or fresh whipped cream will put it over the top.
- 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, divided $1 for a stick
- 3/4 cup brown sugar Pantry
- 1 tsp vanilla $4 for 4 oz.
- 1 pint half-and-half, divided $1
- 4 eggs $1.50 for 12
- pinch of salt Pantry
- 1 baguette, cut into 1” cubes $1.50
- 2 Bosc or Bartlett pears, cored and diced $1.50
Total Cost of Ingredients $10.50
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter 6 individual ramekins or 1 large baking dish (9“x13”).
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Transfer half of it to a mixing bowl and set aside.
Add the sugar to the remaining butter in the pot and stir over the heat until the sugar melts. Add the vanilla and 1/8 cup of the half-and-half and whisk together to form a creamy caramel. Cook for 1-2 more minutes and remove from heat.
Whisk together the reserved butter, the remaining half-and-half, the eggs and the salt. Add bread cubes to bowl and stir well to ensure they are all submerged in the liquid. Let soak for 10 minutes.
Stir in diced pears and caramel mixture and transfer bread custard to prepared ramekins/baking dish. Cover tightly with foil.
Bake for 40-45 minutes with the foil on, then remove foil and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the top is golden-brown.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.