When I saw the big box she had for me, I couldn't help but wonder what I was going to do with all those pears.
I had planned to make some pear preserves but I wanted to try some new ideas also. I decided to make a pear pudding with a caramel sauce underneath the cake-like topping.
I made a similar dessert many years ago with fresh apples so I knew it would work with pears — almost anything you can do with apples, you can do with pears.
You don't even need a bowl for this dessert. Everything is mixed in the pan. The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Being a true Southern cook, I keep self-rising flour on hand at all times so I opted to use it and omit the salt and baking powder.
I used apple juice with the pears but if you want a deeper pear flavor, you can use pear nectar. However, remember that the nectar is much stronger in flavor than simple apple juice. If you choose to use the nectar, I think it would be a good idea to use half nectar and half water.
When looking through some of my older recipes, I found a pear bread I’d made more than 20 years ago and forgot about. A food processor is needed for this one.
This special bread is made with a butterscotch-flavored flour and has a moist texture that will appeal to most palates.
UNDERCOVER CARAMEL PEAR PUDDING
1 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/4 cups peeled and chopped fresh pears
1 1/4 cups hot apple juice
Preheat oven to 350 F. In an ungreased 9-inch baking pan (square or round) that is at least 2 inches deep, mix together the flour, cinnamon and 3/4 cup of the brown sugar. Add milk, vanilla extract and oil and mix well. Stir in pears. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup of brown sugar over the top. Pour the hot apple juice over top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake-like layer forms on top. Underneath is a rich caramel sauce. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
BUTTERSCOTCH PEAR BREAD
2 cups self-rising flour
1 (6 ounce) package butterscotch morsels
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter softened at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peeled and finely chopped fresh pears
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan. In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour and butterscotch morsels. Process until the morsels are almost as fine as the flour. Add the sugar. Pulse until mixed. Add eggs, butter, sour cream and vanilla. Process until well blended. Remove the blade. Stir in the pears. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of loaf. Cool in pan for about 3 minutes and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
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