Bosc pears were often put into kugel in France. Some, like this version, include onions, which add a savory dimension to the sweetness of the fruit and the dough.
1¼ cup canola oil, divided
2 pounds ripe Bosc pears
2 small onions (about 1/2 pound), peeled diced
Kosher salt to taste
7-8 slices challah, about 8 ounces
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 cups pitted prunes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch springform pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil.
Peel the pears and cut into cubes.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over a medium-high heat in a frying pan. Lightly sauté the onions until they are translucent. Remove from the heat, salt to taste and let them cool.
Soak the challah in lukewarm water for a few minutes and squeeze out as much water as you can. Put in a large bowl and add ¼ cup of the sugar, and the remaining oil. Stir in the eggs, onions, and half of the diced pears, setting aside the remaining pears for the sauce.
Pour the batter into the spring form pan and bake for 2 hours.
While the kugel is baking, make the sauce. In a heavy saucepan put 1 cup of water, the remaining ½ cup of sugar, the prunes, cinnamon, lemon juice, and the remaining diced pears. Cook this mixture over medium-high heat, uncovered for 30 minutes.
When the kugel is done, remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Spoon half of the compote over it and allow it to soak into the kugel. Remove from the springform and serve the remaining compote on the side.