Ingredients: 250 grams castor sugar, 500ml water, 1 vanilla pod (cut in ½ lengthwise), 1kg large pears (about 6), 90 grams butter, 200ml milk, 200 grams plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 tablespoons red currant jelly, 3 tablespoons Cointreau.
Preheat oven to 215oc
1. Place ½ cup (4oz) of sugar in a saucepan, add the water and vanilla pod & bring to boil over a low heat. Peel, core & ½ pears lengthways & place in boiling syrup to cook 30 mins until tender. Drain reserving syrup.
2. melt butter, cool slightly & butter 9” (24cm) cake pan (mine is 8”). Combine flour + baking powder add eggs, remaining sugar, butter + milk and mix to form a smooth batter.
Pour into cake pan. Cut each pear in ½ vertically and arrange in batter starting from center.
Bake 40mins until tester comes our clean.
Meanwhile boil syrup in which pears cook until thick & syrupy add red currant jelly & boil 1 min or more. Add Cointreau remove from heat.
Coat cake in syrup + bake for another 5 mins.