Is this a cobbler? Is it a cake? How about a torte? Does it look like a souffle? Yesterday's sweet treat for the week creation defies description so I'll take a page from our British friends and call it a pudding. It may be hard to name but believe me it's not difficult to eat. It's a keeper!
You all must know by now that when the Big Guy's away, I don't spend a heck of a lot of time in the kitchen. Hey cooking for one is a real drag so last night's dinner was a very healthy hardly flavorful tiny excuse for a TV dinner of the lean variety. What can I say except sriracha and hoisin come in real handy sometimes.
But don't feel sorry for me because I knew I had to give you something to gnaw on today and what's better than a sweet treat for the week. I had to make up the caloric deficit somehow, didn't I?
I mixed up a little shortbread crumble and sprinkled it on the bottom of a 10 ounce ramekin, then peeled a pear, leaving the stem on. Hollowing out the blossom end with a melon baller to get to the core, I filled the hole with a glug of pure maple syrup and placed the pear stem end up onto the bed of shortbread crumbs. I snuggled a rich sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla flavored egg custard around the pear, sprinkled the top with a few more shortbread crumbs and the whole shebang hit the oven for 30 minutes.
The result ...blissful! Thanks to the moisture from the custard, the shortbread crumbs form a cake on the bottom, maple flavored of course due to the pool of syrup. The crumbs on top are slightly crisp and the pear is perfectly sweet and wonderfully cooked. It just goes to show ya' that a little imagination in the kitchen goes a long way. The proof is in the pudding.
Maple Pear Pudding (an original from JBug’s Kitchen)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Dash of salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
4 ripe pears
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 4 – 10 ounce ramekins with cooking spray and set on a baking sheet to collect any spills. Combine flour, sugar and salt together in a small bowl. Cut cold butter into mixture using a pastry blender until mixture resembles small crumbs. Set aside. Peel pears, leaving them whole with stem intact. Using a small melon baller or sharp measuring spoon, hollow out the blossom end of the pear to remove the core. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of flour/butter mixture into bottom of each ramekin. Pour 1 tablespoon of maple syrup into hollow of each pear and then place hollow side down/stem up on top of shortbread mixture in ramekins.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla
Whisk together brown sugar, eggs, sour cream, half and half and vanilla. Pour mixture around pears in ramekin, dividing evenly between the 4 ramekins. Sprinkle remaining shortbread crumbs on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted into custard comes out clean and pears are tender. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4.
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