1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
1 tablespoon lemon juice
600 ml (1 pint) cold water
4 ripe dessert pears, peeled, halved and cored
vanilla ice cream, to serve (optional)
75 g (3 oz) unsalted butter
150 g (5 oz) soft light brown sugar
170 g (6 oz) can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon golden syrup
Place the caster sugar, vanilla pod and seeds, lemon juice and measurement water in a large pan and bring gradually to the boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears and simmer gently for 10–15 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, place all the fudge sauce ingredients in a saucepan and cook gently over a low heat for 2–3 minutes or until the butter has melted. Gently bring to the boil, stirring continuously, for 3–4 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Drain the pears from the syrup, divide between 4 serving plates and pour the fudge sauce over the top. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream, if using.