2 cups caster sugar
1 cup water
4 pears (we used William)
Extra caster sugar, to sprinkle
finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
200 g unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp mixed spice
3 Tbsp molasses
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup milk
¾ cup thickened cream
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 1 Preheat oven to 120°C. Combine ½ cup of the sugar and ½ of the water in a small saucepan over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 3 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Slice 1 of the pears very finely and put slices in syrup. Cook for 4 minutes, then drain, reserving syrup, and arrange slices on a wire rack over an oven tray. Bake, turning several times, for 3 hours or until very crisp.
- 2 Meanwhile, grease a 2L pudding basin with butter and sprinkle with extra sugar, then line base with baking paper. Peel and core remaining pears and cut into wedges. Combine reserved syrup, ½ cup of the remaining sugar, lemon zest and juice and remaining water in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add pear wedges and cook for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain, reserving syrup, then arrange wedges in base of pudding basin.
- 3 Beat 150g of the butter with remaining sugar in a large bowl until light, then mix in egg. Fold in spice, molasses, flour and milk, then spoon mixture over pear wedges. Cover with a layer of baking paper and a doubled-over layer of foil. Secure with kitchen string.
- 4 Put basin on a trivet in a large saucepan. Pour in boiling water until three-quarters of the way up side of basin, then bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 2 hours or until pudding is firm to touch.
- 5 Combine remaining butter with cream, brown sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Invert pudding onto a serving plate and drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the reserved syrup. Top with pear crisps and serve with butterscotch sauce.