Pear and ginger are a great match and this twist on a traditional Parkin loaf makes the perfect Autumnal pudding.
For the parkin loaf…
10″ loaf tin, greased with butter
100g salted butter
100g soft dark brown sugar
50g black treacle
150g golden syrup
100g self-raising flour
200g small porridge oats
2tsp ground ginger
2tsp ground mixed spice
2 medium eggs
1 tbsp milk
250ml creme fraiche for the icing
For the caramelised pears…
100g granulated sugar
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 120c fan.
Weigh out the butter, sugar, treacle and golden syrup into a saucepan and place over a low heat until melted. Stir to combine, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, sieve the flour into a large bowl and add in the porridge oats, ground ginger and mixed spice. Stir to combine and create a well in the centre.
Slowly pour the treacle mix into the well and stir everything together until you have an even, sticky, oaty mass. Whisk up your eggs and milk with a fork and stir this into the mix.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for roughly 1hr 10 mins, checking its progress at 45 mins. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to sit in the tin for half an hour before turning onto a wire rack.
When the parkin is cool, wrap it in foil or parchment and store in an air-tight container…it will last for a couple of weeks, getting stickier and even more delicious over time!
Set the oven to 150c fan.
Combine the granulated sugar, ginger and cinnamon and tip out onto a plate.
Using a mandoline, finely slice the pears on the cross-section (roughly 2mm thick) and dip each slice in the sugar mix. Lie the pear slices out across a lined baking tray and put in the oven for half an hour (check them every so often to make sure they are caramelising nicely and not catching too much). Now turn them over and bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
When the pears are a deep golden colour with curly edges, remove them from the oven and immediately peel them away from the hot tray (otherwise the sugar will cool and solidify, gluing the pears to the parchment). Leave them to cool and crisp up a little on a plate, then dust with a little icing sugar.
Using a palette knife, smooth the creme fraiche over your parkin loaf until you have a neat, even coating. Now line the sticky pear slices around the sides of the cake and across the top. Finish with another dusting of icing sugar and a little dust of cinnamon. Enjoy!