• 10 cups stale French bread, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vanilla
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 pounds (6-8) pears, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup sugar


The day before whisk together eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla and salt in a large enough bowl to hold your bread cubes. Whisk in the milk and cream. Toss the bread and with your hands, press the bread down to submerge it in your custard. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Melt butter in a large skillet big enough to hold all your pears in a single layer. If your skillet isn't large enough, use two and divide the butter and sugar between them. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in the pan and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the melted butter. Lay the pears over the sugar. Turn the heat to high and allow the pears to cook undisturbed for 6-8 minutes. Once the juices begin to caramelize, shake the pan to distribute the heat and turn the pears over onto their other sides. Once the pears and juices are a medium amber caramel, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for five minutes.

Pour the bread and custard into a buttered 9x13 pan. Distribute the pears and their juice evenly over the pudding. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the custard is set and the bread that is popping up between the pears is crispy. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. The pudding is great on its own or with a pitcher of cream or vanilla ice cream.

The pudding is best served the day it is baked, but leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 2-3 days. Rewarm in a 300° oven for 10-15 minutes.


Cory Schreiber