- 1 ripe pear, peeled and diced
- 150g (5oz) dried pear, chopped, plus extra to serve
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 185g (6oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 210g (7oz) self-raising flour
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 50g (1¾oz) pecan nuts, cut into slivers, to serve
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 125g (4oz) unsalted butter, cubed
- 150g (5oz) brown sugar
- 200ml (6½fl oz) double cream
- Heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Grease 8 individual metal pudding moulds with butter and cut out a circle of greaseproof paper to fit in the bottom of each mould. Place a few cubes of fresh pear in the base of each mould. Put the chopped dried pear in a bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda and pour over 300ml (9½fl oz) of boiling water. Set aside.
- Beat the softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then sift in the flour and ginger. Add the soaked pear and the juice, then the vanilla and mix well.
- Pour into the prepared moulds and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and firm to touch. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave in their tins to cool, then carefully turn out onto a baking tray. At this stage, the puddings can be set aside for up to 12 hours.
- When ready to serve, heat the oven to 200°C (gas mark 6). Make the sauce by placing the butter, sugar and cream in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Top each pudding with a few extra pieces of chopped pear and the pecans. Pour a third of the sauce over the puddings and put them in the oven for 5 minutes, or until golden and bubbling, making a delicious hot caramel topping. Serve immediately on individual plates, and serve with the remaining hot sauce and cream or ice cream.
These puddings and the sauce can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time. To serve, bring to room temperature and follow the serving instructions from step 5.