Pears with caramel sauce
By Heidemarie Swanepoel
4-5 large, fresh pears
½ cup sugar – adapt to the tartness or sweetness of the pears
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
3 ½ oz butter
2 pints milk
½ cup cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Peel the pears, and remove the core. Cut into thick slices. Place the pears, the sugar, the lemon juice and a little water in a large saucepan, and gently simmer in a little water for 30 minutes or until the pears are firm but cooked through. The time needed will depend on the type of pears you are using. Cool slightly.
The pears, prepared like this can easily be canned or frozen for later use, if you have a surplus that you want to prepare.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add the sugar, and melt the sugar in the butter, stirring continually over low heat. Be careful not to burn the sugar. Once the sugar has become a lovely light to medium caramel colour, remove from heat. Pour the milk (keep back 1 cup) in slowly, stirring well. (It helps to warm the milk to luke-warm before adding to the caramelised sugar, to prevent lumping of the sugar. Although, do not fret if the sugar forms crystallised lumps during this mixing. It will melt again in the next step. Just be extra careful over lower heat if this has happened.)
Place back on medium high heat, and bring to just before boiling. Stir continually to prevent burning. Mix the corn flour with the remaining cup of milk, and add to the caramelised milk. Simmer for a few minutes, until thickened. Add the vanilla essence, stir well, and remove from heat.
Allow the pears and the caramel sauce to cool completely before serving.
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