Steamed vanilla pudding with pears and vanilla crème anglaise

There’s something amazingly comforting about a steamed pudding, especially when it’s drizzled with warm vanilla crème anglaise and served with poached seasonal fruit

  • 3 hrs 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 8
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Steamed vanilla pudding with pears and vanilla crème anglaise
  • 330 gram softened butter
  • 330 gram caster sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
  • 2 lemons, finely grated zest and juice
  • 4 eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
  • 70 millilitre cream
  • 300 gram plain flour
  • 1 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
Vanilla poached pears
  • 440 gram caster sugar
  • 375 millilitre light dessert wine, such as beaumes de venise
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 orange, juice
  • 250 millilitre water
  • 6 ripe beurre bosc pears, peeled, halved, cored and stems left intact
Vanilla crème anglaise
  • 350 millilitre cream
  • 150 millilitre milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly peeled rind
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 80 gram caster sugar


Steamed vanilla pudding with pears and vanilla crème anglaise
  • 1
    Beat butter, sugar, vanilla seeds and lemon zest in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes).
  • 2
    Scrape down sides of bowl, then add eggs and yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat until smooth.
  • 3
    Combine cream and lemon juice in a bowl and set aside to curdle (1-2 minutes; mixture will separate into clumps).
  • 4
    Sift flour and baking powder into butter mixture and beat to just combine, adding cream mixture at the end.
  • 5
    Beat until just smooth, then spoon into a buttered and floured 2.25-litre pudding bowl lined on the base with a round of baking paper.
  • 6
    Place a buttered round of baking paper over surface of pudding batter. Cover bowl completely in foil, pleating it in the centre, and secure with string.
  • 7
    Place in a large saucepan lined with a tea towel (this provides insulation and prevents the pudding rattling around too much).
  • 8
    Pour in boiling water to halfway up sides of bowl, cover and simmer until pudding is cooked through, adding water as necessary (3-3½ hours; it should feel springy in the centre and an inserted skewer will come out clean).
  • 9
    Remove from pan, remove foil and paper and stand for 15 minutes then invert onto serving plate.
Vanilla poached pears
  • 10
    Meanwhile, for poached pears, stir sugar, wine, vanilla beans and seeds, citrus juice and water in a large pan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves.
  • 11
    Bring to the simmer, add pears and cover with a lid. Return to the simmer, reduce heat to medium and simmer until pears are tender (20-25 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the pears). Set aside in liquid until required.
Vanilla crème anglaise
  • 12
    Meanwhile, for vanilla crème anglaise, bring cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds and rind to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • 13
    Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves, add cream mixture and whisk to combine. Return to pan and stir continuously until mixture thickly coats back of a wooden spoon (4-5 minutes). Strain to remove bean and rind.
  • 14
    Drizzle a little crème anglaise over warm steamed vanilla pudding and place a few pears on top. Serve remainder on the side along with leftover anglaise.

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