Please note that I have a fan oven, so you might need to up the temperature or time a little bit if you don't have a fan oven

Pear, Pecan and Custard Pie

350g pears
handful of whole pecan nuts
handful of sultanas
100g golden caster sugar
about 500g sweet shortcrust pastry
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp plain flour
284mls single cream
1 egg for brushing

1. Peel and chop the pears into bite sized chunks. Pop them in a pan with 50g of the golden caster sugar, and warm through until they go all syrupy and start to soften. Take off the heat and put to one side to cool.
2. roll out 3/4 of the pastry and line a buttered pie dish. Line with greaseproof paper and baking beans (or dried lentils if you don't have baking beans). bake for 15 mins at about 160oC, until pastry is golden and not burnt around the edges (which is what happened to mine!)
3. Beat together the egg and egg yolk. add the vanilla extract, 50g sugar, and the flour. Whisk in the cream gradually and any syrupy pear juice that has seeped out of the pears.
4. Lay the pear pieces over the bottom of the pie case. Then sprinkle the sultanas and pecans evenly over the pear pieces, and pour the cream mixture over the top.
5. Up the oven temperature to 180oC, then pop in the pie for about 5-10 mins, just until the cream mixture starts to set a bit.
6. Meanwhile, roll out the rest of the pastry to make a circle large enough to fit the top.
7. Give the pie filling a quick stir, then brush the edges with a beaten egg, and apply and trip the pastry top. Brush with egg to give a nice sheen. Don't put holes in the top of the pie, otherwise the custard mixture will just spill out everywhere
8. Use the off-cuts of pastry to decorate however you wish. I quite like to brush the top of the pie, but not the decorations, to give a nice bit of contrast.
9. Bake at 180oC for about 15-20mins.
10. Eat and enjoy!

Rocky Road Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake:                                                                                 Rocky Road
175g Stork (or butter or similar)                                                       100g butter
200g soft light brown sugar                                                             300g dark chocolate ( chopped)
2 large eggs                                                                                         3 tbsp golden syrup
140g self raising flour                                                                        12 marshmallows, halved
50g cocoa powder                                                                              85 g Maltesers
                                                                                                              85g dried mixed fruit
                                                                                                              50g walnuts (halved or pieces)

1. Heat oven to 160oC and line a cake tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Melt the Stork in a pan over a low heat. Stir in the sugar and eggs, then fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
3. Spoon into the tin and bake in the oven for about 30 mins or so, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Once ready, tip onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
4. Meanwhile, to make the rocky road, melt the butter, chocolate, and golden syrup together over a gentle heat, then leave to cool for 15 mins.
5. Arrange the marshmallows onto the top of the cooled cake and place the cake back into the tin, relining the tin  with greaseproof paper if need be (I use the ready made liners from Lakeland and was able to resuse the one the cake had baked in)
6. Stir the maltesers, walnuts, and raisins into the cooled chocolate mixture, then pour or spoon onto the top of the cake. Spread over as evenly as possible.
7. Place into the fridge to set.
8. Carefully remove from the tin, and proceed to stuff your face with this extremely chocolate-y delight.

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