Pouding chômeur a la Bosc Pear cake

Poor man's pudding cake soaked generously in sweetly robust syrup.
Bosc pears were a perfect pairing to this delectable simple dessert. 

Dessert was in my thoughts and the popular...
‘Pouding chômeur’ was going into the oven.

'Le temps des sucres' had opened my appetite...
for not only seeking out the next sugar shack 'Cabane a Sucre'...
but give another whirl at replicating some of their traditional recipes.

So, off we went to visit one of the few authentic sugar shacks left in the...
Saint Benoit-Mirabel, Lower Laurentians, Quebec region.
The owners are lovely and generously welcoming. 

Not surprising, the service was slightly rushed. 
What we have somewhat become accustomed to in these places has become a little annoying.
It does take away from the overall experience and I wish this will be adjusted with time.
No matter...we definitely made the best of it.

Every time I venture out towards the unknown, I'm always hoping to uncover a real gem.
I'm starting to think that in these times this may be wishful thinking on my part.
Some may say that I'm a little too exigent. Anything wrong with that? 
Mom could also be blamed...she wasn't impressed either.  Hubby wasn't too far behind.

The place itself was as authentic as they get with a charm that unfortunately surpassed their meal offering.

Yes, there was an effort to place a slight variation of what's usually offered in...
typically commercialized sugar shacks, however, we decided it certainly was not a repeatable occasion.
The company we happened to meet at the communal table were...
exceptionally pleasant and made the occasion memorable.

Sadly, the dessert portion of the meal was lacking in substance as well as variety.
Thankfully, I just got through making my version of Quebec's historic poor man's pudding cake.
Of course, not perfection yet, however pretty darn close with the addition of Bosc pears.

A dessert originated from the 1929 economic crisis in our Quebec region.
Only water, flour and brown sugar could be afforded during those very challenging times.
Although, I would have wanted to stay true to the original recipe...I just had to make it my own.

Here's my newest version of this luscious treat along with pears begging to be used.

Maple Syrup pudding cake
Pouding chômeur a la Bosc Pear

Poor Man's Pudding (aka French ‘Pouding Chômeur‘)

A square or round 8 inch OR larger 8x11inch baking dish.
Also, 8 large, shallow ramekins can be used.

serves between (6-8 portions) 10-12 portions


(American measures)

Note: the numbers on the side are for a smaller recipe to fit into an 8" square or round baking dish.

Maple Syrup sauce:
. (3/4 c.) 1-1/2 cups Maple syrup
. (1/2 c.) 1 cup brown sugar, packed
. (1/2 c.) 1 cup water
. (1 Tbsp.) 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter

Cake batter:
. (2/3 c.) 1-3/4 cups All Purpose flour
. (1 tsp.) 2 tsps. baking powder
. (1/8 tsp.) 1/4 tsp. sea salt
. (1/4 c.) 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
. (1/4 c.) 1/2 cup granulated sugar
. (1 tsp.) 2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
. (1) 2 xLarge eggs
. (1/2 c.) 1 cup milk

. (2) 4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and diced


. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
. Butter your chosen oven-proof dish or ramekins.
. Prepare to use a baking pan to hold the dish.

1. In a medium saucepan, mix the maple syrup, sugar and water together.   Bring it to a boil on MEDIUM-HIGH heat.  Then, immediately lower the heat to MEDIUM-LOW for no more than 5 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat.  Add the small portion of butter.  Set aside.
CAKE batter:
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
4. Add the eggs and mix well.
5. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk and ending with the flour.  Do not over mix.
6. Place the diced pears in a single layer at the bottom of the prepared dish.  Then, spoon the cake batter over top.
7. With the aid of a ladle, slowly pour the syrup sauce over the batter.  Place the dish on top of a baking pan.
. BAKE for about 45-50 minutes (35-40 minutes for the ramekins) or when the cake becomes golden brown.
. Let the cake rest 30 minutes before serving warm. Can be left at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Does not freeze well.  Bon appetit.

Here's to satisfying some childhood memories and contenting my sweet tooth.  
I do hope you are tempted to give this very rustic Quebecois treat a try.

Have a wonderful start to our Spring as we look forward to witnessing blooms to be upon us soon.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.

OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.