It’s time for pud!

Sticky Ginger and Pear Parkin

We can’t believe our crop of pears this year – I counted 132! I’m trying out lots of recipes to preserve them including bottling and unusually a pear and chocolate jam which sounds yummy – I’ll let you know how it goes!

This Sticky Pear & Ginger Parkin though is an old family favourite and great with a big serving of thick vanilla custard

Sticky Pear and Ginger Parkin

Serves 8-10

Takes about an hour and a half

200g self raising flour

200g porridge oats

2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon mixed spice

¼ teaspoon salt

175g black treacle

160g butter, plus extra knob for greasing

140g light brown muscavado sugar, plus spoonful for sprinkling

3 balls stem ginger from a jar, finely diced

2-3 spoonfuls of syrup from stem ginger jar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

125-150ml milk

4 just ripe pears

30x20cm tin or baking dish, greased and base lined

  1. Mix together the flour, oats, ginger, mixed spice and the salt in a large bowl and put to one side.
  2. Put 140g of the butter in a large saucepan along with the treacle and the brown sugar and melt together gently over a low heat. Stir in the bowl of dry ingredients and two thirds of the chopped stem ginger.
  3. Add the egg and half of the milk and stir well. Add enough of the remaining milk to give a smooth batter which drops easily off the spoon. Pour and scrape into your baking tin.
  4. Peel the pears and twist off the stalks. Cut in half and use a teaspoon to scoop out the core. Carefully, using a sharp knife make 5 cuts lengthways through the pear leaving about a centimetre uncut at the stalk end. Repeat with the other halves of pear.
  5. Fan the pear out a little then lay the pear halves on top of the batter at regular intervals. Don’t press down but try and fan out the cut pear. Dice the remaining 20g butter and dot over the pears then sprinkle over a couple of spoons of sugar.
  6. Pop in a preheated oven 160C/fan 140/gas 3 for 50-60 minutes until the parkin has risen slightly and if you insert a skewer into the centre it comes out clean.
  7. Whilst the parkin is still hot scatter the remaining bits of stem ginger over the pears and drizzle some of the syrup over the pears as well.

Using the pears as a guide to portions this is best served warm as a pudding with loads of custard. For smaller appetites it tastes equally good in smaller portions served cold with a cup of tea.