If apples are the fruit of autumn, pears are the fruit of winter for me. I associate crisp autumnal days with a nip in the air, russet leaves at my feet and apple pie cooling on the window sill of the Apple Chapel. Winter, ushers forth the pudding recipes in my life – the short days and exceedingly dark nights, with biting cold and grey skies call for warming puddings, to be eaten with a blanky wrapped around us both, holding the hot ramekin with an oven glove each as soon as it is out of the oven. This little pud is one of our favourites. Enter my Brownie Pear Pots.
I do believe these are the fastest desserts I make and they are made all the quicker for buying the pears in cans. I know, I know – the shops have shelves groaning with pears at this time of year but the truth of the matter is canned pears are reliably soft and tender no matter, means you aren’t faced with having to poach them or fear a rock hard lump of tasteless fruit under your toothsome, fudgy brownie if you’ve misjudged their ripening time. Feel free to poach if it makes you feel better!
Hungry Hubby and I adore chocolate and pears together and these little puds are a real treat. I roll them out after romantic dinners, when watching Strictly on a cold Saturday night or when the need for chocolate is strong within us! They would be excellent as a dinner party dessert as they can be made ahead. As the ingredients are entirely storecupboard based, you can have your Brownie Pear Pot at a moment’s notice too when the desire arises so really, they are very obliging and adaptable little desserts. The brownie mix is made by an all in one method so have your butter nice and soft to start and it’s very, very intensely chocolatey as it uses cocoa rather than melted chocolate. It really is like biting into a tender chunk of chocolate fudge as you eat. A large scoop of the best vanilla ice cream allowed to melt onto the hot puddings is the perfect balance to that deeply dark chocolate hit, not to mention how pears are born to be partnered with vanilla.
- 120 g soft butter
- 150 g light muscovado sugar
- 1 large egg
- 50 g self raising flour
- 60 g cocoa powder
- 400 g canned pears
- Good quality vanilla ice cream to serve
Butter 4 ramekins with a 125ml capacity (approx) and preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Drain the canned pears and cut into chunks about half an inch big and divide between the prepared pots.
Place all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and using electric hand beaters or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment (it helps incorporate the ingredients faster) mix until no streaks remain, just a rich and thick chocolatey batter.
Divide between the pots and smooth the surface, covering the pears.
Bake for 22 minutes if cooking straight away or 25 minutes if cooking from cold (see note). They will be puffed up and dry to the touch but a skewer inserted into the middle will have some raw batter on.
Serve immediately with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.
You can make the puddings ahead and keep them in the fridge, covered with cling and unbaked for 24 hours. Just give them the full 25 minutes to cook. Handy if there is only two of you eating or you needs to get ahead.
If you haven't got a reliable oven or an oven thermometer, check the puddings a couple of minutes before the time is up - you don't want them dried out and cakey.