Firm, ripe Ontario pears add subtle flavour and texture to this fragrant pudding. Serve for dessert or brunch, with additional maple syrup and cream if desired.Preparation Time: 15 minutesBaking Time: 45 minutes Serves 6 to 84 firm ripe Ontario Pears2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon juice2 tbsp (25 mL) butter1/3 cup (75 mL) Ontario Maple Syrup3 cups (750 mL) stale white bread cubes2 eggs2 egg yolks1-3/4 cups (425 mL) milk1 tsp (5 mL) vanillaTopping: 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped walnuts2 tbsp (25 mL) packed brown sugar1 tbsp (15 mL) butter, softenedPeel, core and slice pears; toss with lemon juice to prevent browning. In skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook pears and 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the maple syrup, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes or until pears are tender and liquid has evaporated. Stir in bread cubes. Spread pear mixture in 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish and set aside. In bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, milk, remaining maple syrup and vanilla; pour over pear mixture.Topping: In small bowl, combine walnuts, brown sugar and butter; sprinkle over pudding. Place baking dish in large shallow pan and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up sides of dish; bake in 325°F (160°C) oven for about 45 minutes or until just set in centre. Serve warm or cool.