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Bread Pudding with Pears Recipe

This Bread Pudding with Pears makes a great dessert for a special occasion. A caramelized topping adds to the decadence.

Trivia: According to Wikipedia, the pear will ripen faster if placed beside a banana in the fruit bowl. Who knew?

Tip #1: To convert these measurements to metric, please refer to this online Cooking Converter

Bread Pudding with Pears Recipe

This recipe uses a round, two quart baking dish.


2 1/2 cups of milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
4 cups of day old white bread, cubed and crust removed
1/4 cup raisins (the golden variety)
1 tablespoon of dark rum
1 teaspoon plus two tablespoons of butter
2 ripe pears, firm
1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice
A little lemon juice as needed


Soak the raisins in the dark rum for thirty minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prepare a two quart, round baking pan by buttering it with the one teaspoon of butter.

Scald the milk over medium-low heat. That is, bubbles should form around the edges of the pan but it should not be boiling.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until well mixed. Slowly whisk in half of the sugar.

Very gradually, whisk in the hot milk, whisking constantly. If you add the hot milk too quickly the eggs will cook. You want to prevent this from happening.

When the milk is added, whisk in the vanilla, orange zest and cinnamon.

Next, add the bread, the raisins and the rum that the raisins were soaking in. Gently shove this mixture together and press it down with your hands or a spoon back. Cover and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Do not refrigerate at this time.

Peel the pears. Cut them in half and remove the core. Cut each half into four pieces, vertically. Toss them with lemon juice to avoid discoloration.

Using a medium sized skillet over low heat, barely melt the remaining butter. Twirl the skillet to coat evenly.

Sprinkle the remaining half of the sugar over the butter. Move the pan around so the butter and sugar mixes. Carefully, place the pear pieces in the pan in one layer. Raise the heat to medium and allow the pears to brown and allow the sauce to caramelize. Do this slowly and do not stir. If necessary, lower or raise the heat. Do not allow anything to burn. This usually takes around ten minutes.

Take the pan away from the heat. Carefully turn each pear over so brown side is up. Return the pan to the burner and continue cooking for another two to four minutes. The sauce should be golden in colour.

Move the pears to the buttered baking dish, placing them in a circle. Scrape any remaining syrup over the pears.

Place the baking dish in a shallow roasting pan. Retreive the bread pudding mixture and spoon it over top of the pears. Press down gently on the pudding mixture.

Put the roasting pan in the oven. Pour hot water in the roasting pan until it is half way up the sides of the baking dish that contains the bread pudding.

Bake for an hour to an hour and a quarter. Do not over bake or the pudding will be dry. The pudding should be brown, and barely set in the middle.

Remove the baking dish from the roasting pan and cool on a rack for three quarters of an hour.

When you are ready to serve your bread pudding with pears, slide a knife around the edges to loosen. Put a plate on top of the pudding and turn upside down so the pudding slides onto the serving plate.

If desired, serve this dessert with sweetened whipped cream. It's a lovely company dessert and on you will serve with pride.

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