Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Eggnog Custard and Pomegranate Glass Pears

Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Eggnog Custard and Pomegranate Glass Pears

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time3 hr
  • Total Time3 hr 30 min

Ingredients

For the Pears

  • 2 pears, very thinly sliced (red pears are gorgeous, but any color will do)
  • 4 C pomegranate juice
  • ½ C white sugar

For the Custard

  • 4 ½ C eggnog (not the light version)
  • C sugar
  • ¼ C cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 7 egg yolks
  • ¼ C unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs spiced rum

For the Gingerbread

  • 5 C All Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ C dark brown sugar
  • 1 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C unsulphured molasses
  • 1 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 C boiling water

Method

For the Pears

1
  • In a medium saucepan, combine juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer and add pear slices. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let pears soak in the pomegranate solution for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 200F. Remove pear slices from juice* and lay in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in the oven for 2 hours, and flip them over halfway through. They may be slightly malleable at the end of this time, but they will begin to harden up quickly as they cool. Allow to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container, not overlapping, with parchment between each layer.

*If you want a little extra treat (and who doesn’t?), bring the juice back to a simmer and allow to reduce to 1 Cup. Allow syrup to cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For the Custard

2
  • In a large saucepan, heat eggnog to a simmer. Do not allow to boil.
  • While eggnog is heating, sift sugar, cornstarch, and salt. In a heatproof bowl, whisk dry mixture with egg yolks until fully combined. Remove eggnog from the heat and slowly temper it into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the yolks.
  • Return mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium, stirring constantly to prevent liquid from sticking to the bottom. Heat until mixture thickens, about 5-8 minutes. It should be able to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
  • Strain mixture into a large bowl and discard any lumps caught by the strainer. Add butter and mix in until smooth. Stir in rum. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the Gingerbread

3
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9”x13” baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until fully combined. Add eggs one at a time and mix until smooth. Add applesauce and molasses and mix until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add hot water and mix until just incorporated.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out just barely clean. Allow to cool completely. If you are not serving until a later day, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To Assemble

4
  • Slice your gingerbread into squares. Place one square on a plate. Top with a generous spoon of custard. If you made pomegranate syrup, drizzle it over your custard. Top with a glass pear slice or two, and sprinkle pomegranate arils over the top.
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