This comforting pear pudding is perfect for a Sunday lunch on a chilly day. Pears and blackberries are topped with an orange-scented sponge mixture and baked, then the pudding is turned out upside-down, so the luscious fruit is on top.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a deep 20 cm (8 in.) round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Heat the golden syrup gently in a small saucepan until it is runny, then pour it over the bottom of the pan. Peel, halve and core the pears. Arrange them, cut side down and in one layer, around the bottom of the pan. Scatter over the blackberries or raspberries.
Place the margarine and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, orange rind and 2 tablespoons milk with a large metal spoon to give a soft, dropping consistency. Add a little more milk if needed. Spoon the sponge mixture evenly over the fruit in the pan and level the surface.
Bake for 50–60 minutes or until risen and golden-brown. If the pudding seems to be browning too much toward the end of the cooking time, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Leave to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place an inverted serving plate on top. Turn the pan and plate over, holding them firmly together, so the pear pudding falls out onto the plate. Serve warm, cut into wedges, with yogurt, if desired.
Upside-down pear pudding variations:
*You could use 6 canned pear halves in natural juice, well drained, instead of fresh pears, and substitute maple syrup for the golden syrup.
*Try an upside-down pineapple and blueberry pudding, replacing the pears and blackberries with 4 canned pineapple rings in natural juice, well drained, and 170 g fresh blueberries.
*Or make an upside-down ginger and plum pudding. Instead of pears and blackberries, arrange 6 halved plums in the base of the pan. For the sponge mixture, use 2⁄3 cup each of white and whole-wheat self-raising flour. Omit the orange rind and add 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground ginger and 3–4 pieces preserved ginger in syrup, finely chopped.
Per serving: 417 calories, 6 g protein, 19 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 72 mg cholesterol, 58 g total carbohydrate, 33 g sugars, 4 g fibre, 339 mg sodium
Golden syrup is a residual syrup from sugar milling. It is made up of the sugars sucrose, glucose and fructose, but because it contains more water and less sucrose than table sugar, it is not as sweet.