Think of Tom and Barbara Good in the 70’s sit-com ‘The Good Life‘. Well, that was our garden in Stoke Prior. With a huge wooden trellis, abundant with roses and honeysuckle resembling Miss Haversham’s conservatory in ‘Great Expectations‘. Every time you walked through its gate, you were escorted by a waft of sweet delight into ‘The Secret Garden‘.
You were greeted by a plethora of produce; strawberries, gooseberries, runner beans, apple and pear trees. Being entrepreneurs, Mum and I would erect a stall at the front of our house to procure our goods. We were ahead of our time. Producing, selling and eating organic food. And we did very well, with our very own ‘Old Curiosity Shop‘.
This is a great way to make use of autumnal pears and it is very easy to make. One of Mum’s go-to bakes when we had pears to spare.
225g (8oz) unsalted butter, soft * 55g (2oz) soft brown sugar * 595g (1lb 5oz) very ripe pears, cored and slice * 175g (6oz) demerara sugar * 3 eggs, beaten * 170g (6oz) self-raising flour * 55g (2oz) ground almonds * 2 tbsp milk
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease a 25cm/10 inch cake tin and line with baking paper. Or grease an equivalently sized silicone dish. Cream 55g (2oz) of the butter with the soft brown sugar and spread over the base of the tin. Place the sliced pears over the mixture and they should cover the whole surface.
Cream the demerara sugar together with the remaining butter until pale and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and the ground almonds with the milk and spread over the pears. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes until the pudding is golden brown and well risen.
Run a knife around the edge of the pudding and invert onto a warm plate. Serve with cold double cream.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book, FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
This recipe comes from the section TRADITIONAL PUDDINGS, a selection of the best of British cakes and desserts.