Sticky Date and Pear Pudding with Caramel Sauce

15 minutes + 2 hours 30 minutes Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 410 g can pear slices in juice, drained
  • 250 g dried pitted dates
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 150g butter, at room temperature, chopped
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 300 mls cream
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How to Whip Perfect Cream

Method

  • 1. Grease a 2-litre (8 cup) pudding basin. Line base with baking paper. Place pears on paper towels and pat dry. Arrange pears over base of prepared pudding basin.

  • 2. Combine dates and boiling water in a heat-proof bowl. Add baking soda and stand for 10 minutes. Process in a food processor until pureed. Add butter and process until smooth. Add sugar, mixed spice and eggs; processing until combined. Add flour and mix until just combined (do not overmix). Pour mixture into prepared basin, taking care not to disturb the pear.

  • 3. Cover basin with lid or two layers of foil and secure with kitchen string. Place an upturned heat-proof saucer in the base of a large saucepan. Add enough boiling water to come three-quarters up the side of pudding basin. Place pudding basin on a saucer in the saucepan. Simmer, covered, for 2½ hours or until a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean, topping up with boiling water as necessary. Carefully remove pudding from water. Stand in basin for 10 minutes.

  • 4. To make the caramel sauce, combine butter, sugar and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook and stir until sugar dissolves.

  • 5. Turn out pudding on to a plate. Drizzle a little sauce over pudding. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

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