The Autumn Equinox falls today (see what I did there?!) and what a glorious Autumnal day it’s been down here in rural Cornwall!
I do favour the hot, balmy days of summer but it must be said that come late September I begin to yearn for the slight chill in the evening air, the gentle morning mists, the lilting voice of the Robins and most especially the darker evenings when everyone is at home for tea because it’s too dark and cold to play outside!
To Autumn: Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
– John Keats
This summer has provided me with bumper crops notably from my tomatoes and runner beans. I’ve also produced some fine peppers, broad beans and some beautiful Conference pears!
Now there’s only so many pears one can eat…therefore I’m always trying to devise new recipes for my family to enjoy the bountiful harvest that comes straight from our own garden.
After feeling all cosy and Autumny earlier today, here’s what I dreamt up in my kitchen this afternoon –
Jane’s Spiced Pear Pudding.
You will need for the spiced pears –
About 8 good sized ripe pears (any variety) peeled and chopped into similar sized pieces
2 table spoons of water
a large pinch of mixed spice
1/2 a star anise
a few gratings of nutmeg
sugar to taste – I used several table spoons
optional – a handful of sultanas
For the pudding
same weight as the eggs in –
self raising flour (less 2 table spoons if using ground almonds)
optional – 2 table spoons of ground almonds
heat oven to 150 deg C fan assisted, 300 deg F or gas 2
- Begin by putting the chopped pears into a saucepan along with the water, sugar and spices.
- Place the saucepan on a medium heat and bring up to a gentle simmer – pop the lid on and simmer like this, stirring often until the pears are soft. Remember pears don’t go all fluffy like apples do.
- After about 30/45 minutes the pears should be stewed and ready. Place them into a high sided pie dish – I used a pyrex casserole dish, add the sultanas if using and leave to one side while you prepare the pudding.
- Place in a mixing bowl – all the pudding ingredients and mix together with an electric whisk until well combined.
- Gently spoon the pudding mix over the spiced pears and smooth down.
- Place into the oven and bake for around 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the pudding clean.
- Enjoy warm from the oven with lashings of custard!