Serves 6 Active Time 30 min. Total Time 45 min.
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup pecans
Canola oil for greasing
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 day-old croissants
2 tablespoons coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate (about 1 ounce)
1. Preheat the oven to broil.
2. Put the cherries in a small bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit for 20 minutes, then drain.
3. Spread the pecans out in a pie tin, place on the middle rack of the oven, and carefully watch for 1 to 2 minutes or until the nuts are golden. Cool, then chop.
4. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease two ovenproof bowls (with 4-inch diameters) with canola oil.
5. Add the heavy cream to a medium saucepan. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds from the pod into the liquid, then add the pod. Simmer over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove the vanilla bean pod.
6. Combine egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Slowly pour in the cream mixture while whisking.
7. Tear the croissants into 6 pieces each and place in a medium bowl, then cover with the remaining cream and egg mixture. Allow the croissants to absorb the liquid for about 10 minutes. Add the cherries.
8. Transfer the mixture into the prepared bowls and sprinkle the top of each bowl with the chocolate and toasted pecans. Place them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until set, then serve.