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Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding

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Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding

This bread pudding is a combination of an upside-down cake and traditional spoon-bread puddings for a beautiful and sweet finish.

© 2007 Ashley Skabar, licensed to About.com, Inc.

This dairy-free dessert is a compromise between a traditional bread pudding and an upside-down cake. When served, the caramel sauce drizzels down the sides of the spice-scented cake from a fan of golden pears for an impressive and elegant presentation.

As with any recipe where there is caramelization involved, parts of this recipe are very much dependent on timing, so don't try to rush through it! Caramelizing sugar is a delicated process.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: Makes one 9" pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2 large Bosc or red pears
  • 1 cup white or unrefined cane sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 T. plain unsweetened soy yogurt, divided
  • 4 cups 1/2 " bread cubes, preferably from day-old bread
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened soy milk (not non-fat)
  • ¾ cup honey

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the pears into ¼-inch thick wedges and fan, flat-side down, in the bottom of a 9-inch round non-stick cake pan. Set aside.

2. Make the caramel. Combine sugar, water and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Without stirring, allow the syrup to come to a boil, wiping down the sides of the pan periodically with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. After about 5 minutes or when the caramel is light amber in color, stir in the 2 T. soy yogurt and allow the liquid to cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the caramel is dark amber in color is bubbling up slightly. Remove the pan from heat and pour over the prepared pears. Set aside.

3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the bread cubes, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg.

4. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, soymilk, remaining 1/3 cup soy yogurt and honey, whisking until combined. Add to the bread mixture, mixing until bread has begun to break down slightly. Pour the mixture over the pears in the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the cake puffs up and is golden brown. Set on a cooling rack to cool about 15 minutes before serving. When ready to serve, turn the pan over in one swift motion, turning out the pudding onto a serving plate or platter. Serve warm, allowing the caramel sauce to drizzle down the sides of the pudding.

*As you would with any recipe intended for persons with dietary restrictions or allergies, make sure to read the ingredients labels on all ingredients to make sure that there are no dairy-derived ingredients or other allergens that apply to you.

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