Pear Please



March is still winter, right? Stay in the cool-weather groove even if it's 80 degrees outside with chef Paul Mattison's recipe for roasted pear and croissant bread pudding. Perfect for outdoor picnics with the family or spooning straight out of the casserole dish on the couch with a glass of wine.

Ingredients: 7 eggs; 1½ cups sugar; ¼ cup honey; 2 cups heavy cream; 3 pears; 8 croissants; ¾ cup shredded coconut.

Crème Anglaise Ingredients: 1 qt. cream; 1 cup sugar; 1 vanilla bean; 8 egg yolks.

For the Crème Anglaise, combine the cream, ½ cup sugar and the vanilla bean in a stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Separately mix the remaining ½ cup sugar and the egg yolk in a stainless bowl. Slowly temper this mixture by adding small amounts of the warm cream mixture, careful not to cook the yolks. Strain into a clean pot and return to medium heat. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spatula. Chill before serving.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, blend the eggs, sugar, honey and heavy cream with an immersion blender. Peel and dice the pears into ½ inch cubes. Cut or tear the croissants into large pieces. Combine the pears, croissants and coconut. Pour the cream mixture over the pears and bread, and toss to coat. Press into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover with parchment paper and then cover with foil. Place pan in a larger baking pan and fill with enough water to come ¼ inch up the sides of the pan with the bread pudding. Bake for one hour. Uncover and remove from the water bath. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, until just golden. Serve warm with Crème Anglaise.

Photo courtesy of Mattison's.

Mattison's Restaurant

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