Toffee-Pear Sticky Pudding submitted by Mom Johnson
Another great recipe using wonderful Fall-season pears.

In a large saucepan combine the water, dates and pears. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, covered about 15 minutes or until the fruit is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Mash with a potato masher, fork or immersion blender until as smooth as possible. Stir in the baking soda and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 inch baking pan and set aside. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; set aside. In a large bowl combine brown sugar and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Stir in the date-pear mixture. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack. Immediately use a long skewer to prick the top of the cake all over. Spoon the portion of Toffee-Pear Sauce without the pears over the cake. Bake for 3 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm with a portion of the Toffee-Pear Sauce with the pears. Makes 9-12 servings.

Toffee-Pear Sauce:
Peel and core 2 fresh pears; thinly slice the pears. In a medium skillet melt the 1 T. butter over medium heat. Add thinly sliced pears and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, turning pears occasionally and reducing heat to low if pears brown too quickly. Set aside. In a small saucepan melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Stir in 3/4 cup brown sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil gently, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Carefully stir in 3/4 cup whipping cream. Bring to boiling again. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla. Divided sauce in half. Stir pears into one portion.

v 1 1/4 cups water
v 1 1/4 cups pitted whole dates (Medjool)
v 1 cup peeled, cored and chopped fresh pear
v 1/2 tsp. baking soda
v 1 cup flour
v 1 tsp. baking powder
v 1/2 tsp. salt
v 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
v 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
v 1/3 cup butter, softened
v 2 eggs
v 1/2 tsp. vanilla

v Toffee-Pear Sauce:
v 2 fresh pears, peeled, cored and sliced
v 1 T. butter
v 1/2 cup butter
v 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
v 3/4 cup whipping cream
v 1 tsp. vanilla