Pear & vanilla cakes


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2 litres water
2 2⁄3 cups (370 g) caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
12 x 125 g Beurré Bosc pears, peeled and cored
Vanilla cake
125 g butter, softened
2⁄3 cup (150 g) caster sugar
2 eggs
1¼ cups (190 g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (125 ml) milk


Place the water, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the pears, cover with a round of non-stick baking baking paper and a lid, and cook for 25–30 minutes or until tender.
Drain on absorbent paper, set aside and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy.
Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition.
Fold in the flour and milk.
Line 12 x 1 cup (250ml) capacity muffin tins with paper cases and spoon ¼ cup (60ml) of the mixture into each case.
Carefully push in the pears and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Makes twelve.

For more delicious serving ideas with Pears, go the Rediscover the Pear website.