Caramel Pecan Croissant Pudding…a decadent way to use up those leftover croissants
I love croissants, as do most people I know, but we all know they are less than stellar when not fresh and crispy. That being said, you can refresh them in the oven for a few minutes to make them like new, but when you buy a massive box of croissants at Costco, you may be doing that for a few days…but don’t lose faith! Here is something you can do with leftover croissants that is spectacularly yummy and delicious.
This is an adaptation of Nigella Lawson’s recipe in her book “Nigella Express” – I have changed the quantities and ingredients slightly and added some notes. This is an easy recipe with few ingredients, but it does require your undivided attention for a few minutes when making the caramel syrup.
4 stale croissants
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup cream (heavy or coffee, whichever you have available)
1 cup milk (not low-fat or skim)
1/4 cup whisky or 1 tbsp vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 and butter a gratin dish which will hold a litre or so.
Rip croissants up and put into dish. Distribute pecans over top.
Put sugar and water into deep, heavy saucepan and swirl to dissolve sugar a bit. Heat over medium-high heat *without stirring*, but watching closely. Let it boil until it turns a deep amber colour. This process can take up to ten minutes. You need to watch the mixture closely, because once it starts to turn colour the change will happen quite quickly. If you burn the mixture you will have to discard it and start again…ain’t nobody got time for that!
Once the sugar has caramelized, remove from heat, and whisk in cream, then milk, then vanilla or whisky. When you add these the caramel will splutter and may bubble up. Just keep whisking! The sugar may “lump together” but return to *low* heat and keep whisking, and it will dissolve in the cream and milk. Once mixture has dissolved any lumpy caramel, temper the eggs with a bit of the hot liquid, then slowly whisk eggs into mixture in pot.
Pour custard mixture over croissants and stir to combine. If croissants are stale, let mixture sit for a few minutes.
Bake for 20 minutes or so and – as Nigella says – “prepare to swoon”. Couldn’t say it better myself 🙂