Especially, when the view from our living room window looks like this:
Any plans to go out yesterday evening were literally dampened, and we watched people scurrying around getting soaked to the skin. Two guys had obviously given up entirely and were ambling nonchalantly down the street looking like they'd been swimming in their clothes. Ah, October.
Thankfully, the latest issue of Delicious magazine provided us with a pudding that is the food equivalent of a roaring log fire on a night such as this. It comes courtesy of our dear Nigel Slater and is, in essence, pears made into the naughtiest of treats - hot and sticky, with a kick of alcohol and a caramel sweetness that stays on your tongue. It comes highly recommended for whenever the weather outside is frightful.
Baked Pears With Marsala
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
First, a confession. It is not inconceivable that I was watching X Factor whilst preparing this dish, and therefore *may* not have followed the recipe as carefully as I could have done. It is also, therefore, possible that my version of this dessert involves almost twice as much butter, sugar and booze as it technically should. Oops.
The quantities below are the recipe that I made. If you want to rein in the buttery, Marsala-flavoured juices, then go with between 10-15g of butter and 1 tbsp Marsala for each pear you use. This will give you a much stickier dish, with less sauce to pour over the baked pears.
In my defence, my extra unhealthy version is still very tasty, so if you're not on a diet, then go for it!
3 ripe pears
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tbsps caster sugar
4 tbsps Marsala
50g butter (cold)
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
- Fill a bowl with cold water, and squeeze the lemon juice into it.
- Peel the pears but keep them whole, and put them in the bowl of water. This will stop them from turning brown before you've had a chance to get them in the oven.
- Cut the butter into chunks and layer it in the bottom of a baking dish.
- Sprinkle over the sugar and pour over the Marsala
- Slice the pears in half and place them in the dish.
- Bake in the oven for an hour. Turn the pears every 20 mins or so to make sure they're evenly covered in the juices.
- When the pears are completely soft, and the sauce is bubbling away merrily, serve up and feel all warm and cosy.