Friends! Sorry for my long exodus from the land of blogging. I wouldn’t call my life crazy busy but I’ve had plenty of things to distact me from here. I’ve been freelancing for this magazine part-time, designing a new website for my graphic design business, screen printing custom art prints to sell on Etsy and planning a trip to Patagonia. Phew. Lots going on and not much energy left for this lil project as well. I didn’t want to miss out on sharing this recipe because it was SO good and would be delicious on Christmas morning.
J’s birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year so I wanted to make it extra special. I think that anyone who has a birthday fall on or near a major holiday can feel a bit overlooked so I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. To start his birthday off right, we invited some dear friends over for breakfast. J had requested french toast with some sort of pear or peach topping for breakfast. When I found this recipe I knew it would be a MAJOR hit. Bread pudding is his favorite dessert, so turning into breakfast would be perfect.
This is one of those recipes where you make it the night before, store it in the fridge and pop it in the oven in the morning. The pear topping can be made in about 10-15 minute and is a must.In fact, I love this pear topping enough that I would say if you didn’t have time or are reading this in the morning and are making breakfast like right now, just make your basic french toast (add a good dose of cinnamon to your egg batter) and top it with the pears. It would be almost as good as this full dish– the pears are just THAT good.
By the way, I found this recipe on abc.com. Cheryl Hofmann’s French Toast Bread Pudding with Spiced Pears recipe was a finalist in “Emeril’s Comfort for the Coast” contest.
*Make the night before. Serves 8.
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 loaf cinnamon bread
6 large eggs
1/2 C sugar
2 1/2 C milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
2 firm-ripe Anjou or Comice pears, cored and cut into medium sized chunks
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1 (or more) cup real Maple syrup (trust me, it’s not the same with the fake stuff)
The night before, grease your 9×13 baking pan and cut up your cinnamon bread into 1 inch cubes. Place the bread into the pan. In a medium bowl, wisk together your eggs and sugar until light, then wisk in your milk, vanilla and cinnamon.Pour your egg mixture all over the bread, tapping the bread down to make sure that all of it is covered in liquid. Cover your pan with foil, pressing down do that it is touching the bread. Leave in the fridge overnight.
The next day, slide your covered COLD baking pan into the oven and then turn the oven to 350F. You don’t even need to preheat the oven! Let it bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and allow to bake for another 20 minutes, until the bread puffs up and turns a light golden brown.
While your bread pudding is finishing up baking (in the last 10 minutes), cut up your pears and set aside. In a wide pan, melt your butter over medium heat then add your pears, stirring to coat. Add your cinnamon and nutmeg,letting it cook for about 3 minutes until the pears soften. Stir in the maple syrup and cook until bubbly. Remove from heat.
Serve the bread pudding warm from the oven with a couple spoonfuls of the cinnamon maple pears on top. Yum.