Pear Cornmeal Bread Pudding

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The grated nutmeg over the top of this pudding is a nod to its Indian pudding heritage and is also mysteriously wonderful with pears. These puddings can be reheated in a 325-degree oven for 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 7 large eggs
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • cups milk
  • One-inch piece vanilla bean
  • pounds pears, peeled, cored, and diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 5 slices Cornmeal Poundcake, cut into pieces 1 inch by ½ inch
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 recipe Chantilly Cream

One 2½-quart baking dish 3 inches deep

Method

Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel bowl. Set the mixture aside.

Put the cream, milk, and vanilla bean in a heavy-bottomed saucepot and scald. Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Cool and strain the custard base.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place the pears in the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange the cake pieces on top of the pears. Pour the custard base over the pears. Grate ¼ teaspoon of the nutmeg on top.

Bake the pudding, uncovered, for 55 to 60 minutes. A paring knife inserted into the custard should come out almost completely clean.

To serve the pudding, spoon some into bowls. Top with the chantilly cream and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of grated nutmeg.

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