"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Toffee-Pear Sticky Pudding

1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups pitted whole dates, preferably Medjool dates
1 cup chopped peeled fresh pears
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 recipe Toffee-Pear Sauce directions

1.  In a large saucepan combine the water, dates, and pears. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, covered, about 15 minutes or until fruit is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Mash with a potato masher, fork, or immersion blender until as smooth as possible. Stir in baking soda; set aside.

2.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; set aside. In a large bowl combine brown sugar and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Stir in date-pear mixture. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.

3.  Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack. Immediately use a long skewer to prick top of cake all over. Spoon the portion of Toffee-Pear Sauce without pears over cake. Bake for 3 minutes more. Cool on the wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm with the portion of Toffee-Pear Sauce with pears.

Toffee-Pear Sauce: Peel and core 1 fresh pear; thinly slice pear. In a medium skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add thinly sliced pear; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, turning pears occasionally and reducing heat to low if pears brown too quickly. Set aside. In a small saucepan melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Stir in 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil gently, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Carefully stir in 3/4 cup whipping cream. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat; stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Divide sauce in half. Stir pears into one portion.