Orchard Fruit Rice Bake
4 h. 50 min.
Combine half of the sugar with 225 ml of water in a saucepan.
Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and you have a thin syrup. Add one of the vanilla pods and simmer in the syrup for a few minutes.
Pour into a slow cooker and add the pears. Cook the pears in the slow cooker according to the manufacturer's instructions until soft and tender; 3-4 hours.
Turn off the slow cooker and let the pears sit in the syrup as you prepare the rice.
Combine the rice, milk, vanilla extract and remaining sugar in a large saucepan and cook over a moderate heat until it starts to boil.
Reduce the heat to very low and cook the rice uncovered for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice has absorbed most of the milk and is soft and tender. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir through the butter.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan) | 375F | gas 5.
Spoon the poached pear quarters into a heatproof 2 lb pudding bowl using a slotted spoon.
Top with the rice and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp on top.
Remove from the oven and let it stand for a few minutes before garnishing with the remaining vanilla pod and serving.