This is a really tasty combo I threw together. The sweetness of the pears was a really nice pairing with the cheese and bacon.
1 1/2 c. whole milk
loaf of French bread, stale
3 pears (I used Anjou), peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 lb. bacon (about 5 slices)
1/4 fine chopped onion
2 c. shredded smoked gouda
2tbsp chopped fresh herbs (I used1 tbsp rosemary and 1tbsp sage)
fresh ground black pepper
Butter a round 4 (or more) inch deep soufflé dish.
Fry up the bacon, place slices on paper towel. Saute the onions and rosemary until tender in bacon drippings. Add pear, sauté until soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Whisk milk, eggs, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in a small bowl.
Tear bread into rough 1-inch pieces. Layer half the bread in the dish, then half the pear mixture, half the cheese, and pour half the egg-milk mixture over. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Let it stand for 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 375.
Bake bread pudding until brown and slightly puffed, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.