Almond Croissant Bread Pudding + Pear Sauce
Post by Anna
I try to be a wholesome eater as much as the next millennial who had a stint on an urban farm, but dealing with leftovers can be a test of health and moral uprightness. And what are you supposed to do when you’ve got a plate full of shrink-wrapped almond croissants staring you down from the pastry case?
Listen, the US government shut down last week. Have a treat. Almond croissants bathed in eggs, cream, and bourbon with dollops of pear-vanilla jam sounds reasonable. Besides, this Tupp Up is everything the federal government is not: comforting, libertine, and cost-effective.
This dish uses two things I love that go bad quick and often: pastries and fruit. Like a true hoarder, I sent out messages to stow away any day-old croissants from the café where I work and the café where I borrow yeast — (most places toss them, foolishly forgoing countless trays of bread pudding). These almond croissants were the perfect match for the pear sauce I had stored from our yard bounty, and the awkward 1.5 inches left of bourbon on the shelf.
Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 30 minutes / Serves 10-12 / Adapted from Ina
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 6 stale almond croissants
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups half and half
- 1.5 cups brown sugar
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbs. water
- 2 Tbs. bourbon
- 1 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 3 pears, chopped into 1-inch cubes, or 1.5 cups pear sauce*
WHAT YOU DO:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Slice croissants in quarters, and arrange in a 9×13 pyrex pan so they’re just touching
- Whisk together eggs, cream, bourbon, salt and sugar. If using vanilla bean, split it and scrape it into the mixture. I like to stir in the entire open pod to let the remaining beans come loose.
- Spoon small dollops of pear sauce*, or chunks of pear, in the spaces between croissants
- Pour custard mixture over croissants and let soak for 10 minutes, pushing the tops down so they are submerged
- Top with toasted almond slices, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the custard has set and no liquid remains
*Pear sauce: I sliced and froze about 20 bartlett pears (skins on), and let them cook down on the stove with about a cup of sugar, the juice of one lemon, and one split vanilla bean until it was broken down into a thick sauce. Let it cook on low for about 45 minutes, adding about 1/2 cup of water slowly over time. Remove vanilla bean and any whole spices before storing. Great for baking in place of applesauce, or just at midnight, outta the jar.