Warm Pear Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Back in the seventies, my sister and I used to sit down to a breakfast of puffed wheat every morning. If we were lucky, they were honey puffed wheats, served up with canned pears. Mum kept a lot of canned fruit in the cupboard, which seems odd now I think of it, because fresh fruit was plentiful, and not particularly expensive.

Those boxes of puffed wheat always came with a toy in them - a Dutch figurine, and I used to marvel, firstly at how many of them my sister got and I did not, but also at the unusual shaped hats and shoes the figurines wore. Of they were not shoes, they were clogs, something which I later learned my Aunt who spent six months travelling around Europe.

I used to make a lot of parfaits in the seventies, in which canned pears or canned peaches featured heavily. They were basically a single serve of trifle in a tall glass. They'd take all day to make because I'd set the jelly in the jar and couldn't add another layer until it not longer wobbled.

I never really took to fresh pears as a result of eating all those canned ones. But today when the unusually cold weather motivated me to make a pudding for dessert, I decided the pear in my fruit bowl would be the ideal fruity addition. Of course no pudding is ever complete without sauce of some kind. I chose carmel sauce for this one. The combination of caramel and pear is unbeatable.

125g butter
2 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
2/3 cup butter milk
one fresh pear, peeled

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Heavily grease a 7 inch round cake tin and set aside.
2. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of your Kitchenaid and beat on sixth gear until pale and fluffy.
3. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat add until combined. Ensure all the butter mixture is scraped off the sides of the bowl and fully incorporated.
4. Add the flour and buttermilk and beat on sixth gear for two minutes. Pour into the cake tin and smooth the top.
5. Cut the peel pear into eights and remove the core. arrange the pieces in a decorative pattern around the top of the cake.
6. Bake in the oven for 60 mins, or until cake is golden brown and form to the touch.
7. Carefully turn out of pan and cool on a rack top side up.

Carmel Sauce
50g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tblsp milk

1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir while it comes to the boil.
2. Boil for one minute - no need to stir.
3. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
1. If you have another pear, peel it and cut into 5mm slices, ensuring the pieces remain attached at the stem. Fan the pear out and arrange on the top of the cake.
2. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the pear and cake and serve. This pudding is nice with icecream too!

Note: the pears in the cake will sink - don't worry if this happens!


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