Pear-Banana Flognarde

Cold weather brings on a desire for comfort food and bread pudding can deliciously satisfy just such a craving, although a fall flognarde would be an equally tasty – lighter and healthier – alternative. The changing of seasons offers a different selection of fruit than summer, so for this dish, I chose a combination of Bosc and Bartlett pears and bananas.

Rinse the pears, peel the banana and chop the fruit into bite-size pieces – about 1-1/2 pounds, enough to adequately fill a shallow baking dish, overfilling a bit to allow for shrinkage).

pear-banana flognardeApproximately 1/4 cup sweet white wine (optional)
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup unbleached flour
5 tablespoons butter melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or rum)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Place prepared fruit in bowl, add wine and mix gently. Let sit 5 minutes.

In a blender, combine eggs, milk, sugar, flour, butter and vanilla; blend until smooth. Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom if desired.

With a slotted spoon, transfer fruit to buttered baking dish. Pour remaining wine and juices into egg mixture and blend again until just mixed.

Pour egg mixture over the fruit. Bake the flognarde in the upper third of the preheated oven until puffed and set to the touch in the center, 55 to 65 minutes.

Serve warm as is, with a side of vanilla bean ice cream or dusted with dark chocolate slivers. Serves 6-8


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