Lighter Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding

by Andie Mitchell on December 4, 2012

My friends at BetterEats, the healthy cooking blog from the creators of Everyday Health, sent me this recipe today and I just couldn’t help but to share it with you. Does the mere mention of caramelized pear bread pudding make your pulse quicken? Make your toes curl? And doesn’t this picture just make you want to scrap all other plans you may have had in order to bake it immediately? And does the very notion that this recipe is light and healthy make you consider packing it for lunch and serving it for dinner?

Me too.

The BetterEats folks have told me: It’s custardy and raisin-studded. It highlights the sweet, comforting taste of baked pears. When turned out of its baking dish, the flanlike pudding sits in a pool of caramel syrup, making it worthy of any holiday table.

Now this is something I’d love to sink my teeth into, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing just that in the very near future.

Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding
recipe from BetterEats.com

  • 2 1/2 cups lowfat (1%) milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 4 cups bread, whole-wheat country – day-old, crusts trimmed (4-6 slices), cubed
  • 2 tablespoons raisins or currants
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 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 to 6 minutes.

2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until blended. Whisk in vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg.

3. 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.

4. Butter the bottom and sides of a round 2-quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put a kettle of water on to boil.

5. Cut each pear half lengthwise into 4 slices. Place in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.

6. Heat a medium skillet over low heat until hot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and swirl until just melted and the foam subsides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter.

7. Arrange the pear slices on their sides in the pan in an even layer. Increase the heat to medium-low and, without stirring, let the pears begin to brown and the sauce slowly caramelize, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent burning, about 10 minutes.

8. 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 to 4 minutes more.

9. Carefully transfer the pears one at a time to the prepared baking dish, arranging them decoratively in a circle and slightly overlapping them if necessary. Use a heatproof silicone spatula to scrape any remaining syrup over the pears.

10. 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.

11. Bake until the pudding is browned on top and set in the center, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Carefully remove the pan from the oven.

12. 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 the platter.

makes 8 servings

Nutrition information per serving (1/8 of recipe): Calories: 210, Total Fat: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Carbs: 31g, Protein: 7g

 

Are you a bread pudding fan? Have you ever made it?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie December 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm

YUM!

Reply

Catherine December 5, 2012 at 6:02 am
admin December 5, 2012 at 6:08 am

Thanks Catherine! I somehow cut off the second bit of the recipe. Edited above.

Andie

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Christine December 5, 2012 at 6:06 am

It is early so maybe I am just foggy but…something feels missing. I absolutely want to make this! Preheat the oven, put on some water and mix the butter and sugar and then? I will check out the source recipe!

Reply

admin December 5, 2012 at 6:09 am

Sorry, Christine. I’ve edited the recipe above!

Andie

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Kaleena's Kaleidoscope December 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Oh. My. God. You’re turning my mouth on. I can’t wait to make this! Only I have to say that I’ll be removing the raisins, because they are evil. But thanks for sharing, hopefully mine will turn out just as beautifully! :)

Reply

ashley January 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Well I tried to make this in a tart pan like a doofus and after I rescued the batter from the baking sheet it ran out onto, this bread pudding STILL turned out utterly delicious.

Reply

admin January 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm

That’s so great to hear!

Reply

Karen Dodson November 2, 2014 at 1:15 am

Jame Gumb, the fictional character from the novel The Silence of the
Lambs, is inspired by Edward Theodore “Ed” Gein, who was an American body snatcher.
For want of an excuse, the backpack straps dug into my
shoulders and uncomfortable boots no longer fitted my bandaged feet.
” So that’s one of the reasons I wouldn’t go in and start to just sing anything until I was completely happy with it.

Reply

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