2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
150 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon each ground mixed spice and cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
⅓ cup brown sugar
4 fresh dates, roughly chopped
80 grams butter, melted
⅓ cup milk
1 large egg, size 7
finely grated zest 1 lemon
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup golden syrup
30 grams butter
1 cup water
Grease 4 x 300ml-capacity ovenproof ramekins and line the bases with a circle of baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan bake. Arrange the slices from ½ a sliced pear in the base of each ramekin. Toss the flour, baking powder, spices, salt, sugar and the dates together in a large bowl so the dates are not clumped together.
Whisk the butter, milk, egg and lemon zest together, then pour over the flour mixture. Using a large metal spoon, fold everything together until just combined. Spoon the mixture over the pears but don’t smooth the tops flat as the liquid topping needs to seep through to the base. Place the ramekins on a lipped baking tray.
Topping: Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Carefully pour the liquid over the back of a spoon over the puddings. It should come about 1cm above the batter.
Bake for 25–30 minutes or until firm to the touch and pulling away from the sides of the dishes. Leave for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the inside edge of the dishes and invert them onto serving plates. Serve with custard, cream or ice cream. Makes 4.
Cook's note: If you leave the cooked puddings sitting in the ramekins for too long before turning out, all the gooey syrup will be absorbed into the cake.