It never fails: every time I pass by a bakery I start to salivate, especially if I'm hungry. I then go inside with a mission: to buy anything my nose can identify. My daughter loves croissants so I ask myself "Why not buy a dozen?"; my husband likes danish so I buy one in every flavor; and I love anything baked so buy a couple brioches, a few muffins and whatever else I can carry. Of course, the truth hits me when I get home and realize what have I done. My daughter will eat maybe one croissant, and I hide the rest-- my husband needs to lose weight and my hips surely do not need any more fullness. So, I end up taking all my bags of goodies to the restaurant so my staff can enjoy them.However, I keep several croissants or brioches in the house just in case. In a couple days when the health-conscious me wins and the croissants are dry, I find myself making this easy bread pudding that my family and customers enjoy.
Pear Bread PuddingServes 62 Ripe fresh pears1/2 cup raisins1 cinnamon stick2 cloves1 cup sugar2 tablespoons corn starch3 cups milk1 teaspoon orange blossom water or vanilla extract3 dry plain croissant2 tablespoons slivered almonds1 teaspoon ground cinnamon6 ramekin cups-Cut the pears in thin slices and place in saucepan. Add 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, raisin and 2 cups of water. Bring a boil and then cover and cook over low heat until the pears are soft but not over cooked or mushy. Remove from the heat. Remove the cinnamon stick and the cloves, drain and the set aside.-Mix the corn starch with 1/4 cup of cold water in smooth paste.-In a bowl mix the rest of the sugar, except for 1 tablespoon, with the milk, the corn starch paste and the orange blossom water.-Cut the dry croissant into 1-inch large pieces and add to the milk mixture. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.-Spoon couple tablespoons of the bread milk mixture into bottom of each 6 large ramekin cups. Spoon the cooked pear and raisin mixture over the bread in the ramekin cups. Sprinkle some of the slivered almonds and then, top with more of the bread milk mixture until the ramekin cups are full.-Mix the rest of the sugar and the ground cinnamon. Sprinkle over the bread milk mixture and bake in 400 F. degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow the bread pudding to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy