Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding

Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding


  • 2 1/2 Cups  1-percent milk
  • large eggs
  • 1/2 Cup  sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  lemon zest
  • 1/8 Teaspoon  freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 Cups  cubed day-old whole-wheat country-bread, crusts removed (4-6 slices)
  • 2 Tablespoons  raisins or currants
  • 2 Tablespoons  plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • ripe pears, peeled, halved, and cored
  • 1 Tablespoon  lemon juice

This custardy, raisin-studded bread pudding highlights the sweet, comforting taste of baked pears. When turned out of its baking dish, the flan-like pudding sits in a pool of caramel syrup, making it worthy of any holiday table. Serve it warm or chilled.

See all bread pudding recipes.


Heat the milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until steaming, 4-6 minutes. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until blended. Then, gradually whisk in ¼ cup of the sugar. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until blended. Whisk in the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and nutmeg.

Add the bread and raisins to the milk mixture and gently fold together. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon. Cover and set aside at room temperature. Butter the bottom and sides of a round 2-quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon of the butter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put a kettle of water on to boil. Cut each pear in half lengthwise into 4 slices. Place in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the lemon juice.

Heat a medium-sized skillet over low heat until hot. Add the remaining butter and swirl until just melted and the foam subsides. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the melted butter.

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 to slowly caramelize, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent burning, about 10 minutes.

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, 2-4 more minutes.

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.

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.

Bake until the pudding is browned on top and set in the center, 1-1 ¼ hours. Carefully remove the pan from the oven.

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.


Calories per serving:

258 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Balanced Vegetarian, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 60g 92%
  • Carbs 315g 105%
  • Saturated 29g 146%
  • Fiber 21g 85%
  • Trans 1g
  • Sugars 193g
  • Monounsaturated 18g
  • Polyunsaturated 9g
  • Protein 73g 146%
  • Cholesterol 846mg 282%
  • Sodium 1,742mg 73%
  • Calcium 1,236mg 124%
  • Magnesium 229mg 57%
  • Potassium 2,185mg 62%
  • Iron 13mg 71%
  • Zinc 8mg 56%
  • Phosphorus 1,393mg 199%
  • Vitamin A 904µg 100%
  • Vitamin C 23mg 38%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 82%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 3mg 164%
  • Niacin (B3) 15mg 73%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 48%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 352µg 88%
  • Vitamin B12 5µg 78%
  • Vitamin D 12µg 3%
  • Vitamin E 4mg 19%
  • Vitamin K 31µg 39%
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