Slow cooked winter bread pudding with dried pears

Add fruity pears to this easy pud.
  • 1 loaf (about 450g) wholemeal multi-grain bread, preferably stale, cut into large cubes
  • 1l half-and-half (equal quantities of whipping cream and whole milk, combined)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 160g sugar
  • 30ml whisky or bourbon
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 350g dried pears or a combination of pears and apricots, chopped
  • 1l single cream
  • 55g caster sugar and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon mixed together
  • 150g walnuts or pecans, toasted
  • Whipped cream or yoghurt
1) If the bread is not stale, preheat an oven to 200C/Gas 6. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and cook until toasted, for about 10 minutes.

2) Whisk the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, whisky, vanilla, salt and nutmeg together in a large bowl.

3) Toss the bread cubes and dried fruit together and place into the slow cooker. Pour the custard mixture over the top and press down lightly, until all of the bread is covered with the custard.

4) Cover and cook on low until the pudding puffs up and is just set, about 3 1/2 hours. Remove the insert from the slow cooker and cool on a rack for about 20 minutes.

5) Spoon the pudding into large cups or bowls. Sprinkle each serving with cinnamon sugar, and toasted nuts and top with whipped cream or yogurt, if desired.

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