From Masterchef’s Giovanna Ryan… this is an excellent alternative to Christmas pudding over the festive season. It’s exceptionally easy (you can make it even easier by using shop bought custard for the pudding if you really want to!) and can be thrown together in under 45 minutes; no problem. Make sure you use your Falcon pie dishes for serving…


5 almond croissants

4 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 1cm slices

6 eggs

600ml double cream

50g flaked almonds

100g caster sugar

30g demerara sugar

3 cardamom pods, bashed

1 vanilla pod

Butter for greasing


Heat the oven to 180°C and generously butter a falcon baking dish.

Heat 300ml cream gently in a pan until hot but not boiling. Meanwhile, whisk three of the eggs with 50g of the sugar until thick and creamy.

Whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture, return to the pan and heat gently until it’s a thick, custard consistency.

Slice the croissants lengthways and arrange in the baking pan, alternating with slices of pears. Pour over the custard, sprinkle first with the almonds, then the demerara sugar.  Bake for around 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Slice the vanilla pod lengthways, remove the seeds and add along with the pod and cardamom to the remaining cream and heat gently. Simmer for ten minutes and leave to infuse for a further ten.

Whisk the remaining eggs with the rest of the caster sugar until thick and creamy (exactly the same way that you did when you made the custard for the pudding.)

Strain the cream directly into the egg, whisk and return to the pan and heat, stirring constantly to a custard consistency.

Serve a big spoon of the pudding with plenty of custard.