A great recipe for a quick and simple dessert looks like you have spent hours on it.

"Tinned fruit has the advantage of consistency. And tinned pears are particularly good in this dish." – Hugo Arnold

Yield: Serves: 12


  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tins pear halves (you can poach fresh pears, but tinned are actually rather good)
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 150g/5oz sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200ml/7fl oz full-fat milk
  • 250g/9oz plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


  1. Cream the brown sugar and butter together until smooth and spread out in a shallow, oven-proof bowl. Arrange the pear halves on top, cut side up.
  2. Cream the remaining butter and sugar together and then beat in the egg, milk, flour and baking powder. Pour over the pears and bake in a preheated oven, 180ºC/gas mark 4 for one hour.
  3. Turn out while still hot and serve with a great deal of cream.


Tip: Whole spices like star anise or cinnamon bark are a good addition.