1 c. water
1/2 c. pitted and chopped dates
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 lb. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. flour
3/4 t. baking powder
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring the water to a boil, add the dates and wait for the dates to soften, then whisk in the baking soda and set aside to cool.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until very light in colour. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl each time. Let the first egg combine well before adding the second, same for the third.
Sift the flour and baking powder together.
Add the flour/baking powder mixture to the eggs mixture on low speed, scrape down the bowl, then add the dates and mix until well combined. Reserve.
7 oz. (scant 1 cup) brown sugar
1/2 lb. butter
3/4 c. whipping cream
Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil to melt the sugar. Then remove from the heat and whisk in the cream immediately. Set aside to cool. This mixture can be made in advance and kept refrigerated until required. Warm before using.
Putting the pudding together:
3-4 Bartlett pears, ripe but still firm
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving
Butter six 8-oz. ramekins and coat the sides with flour to aid in the removal of the puddings. Put 2 T. of the butterscotch sauce in the bottom of each ramekin.
Peel, core and slice the pears into 6 wedges. Place the pear wedges on top of the butterscotch sauce in the ramekins.
Pour or spoon the batter over the pears and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the puddings sit on the counter to cool slightly.
Unmold the puddings by running a small knife around the inside of the ramekins, then tip the puddings out onto serving plates. Spoon a little warm butterscotch sauce over the puddings and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired. ✤