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Caramel Pear Pudding Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom OR 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup chopped pecans -- toasted
1/4 cup dried pears or apples
1 cup brown sugar -- packed
1 cup water
1 cup pear nectar or apple juice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger -- finely chopped
vanilla ice cream or light cream -- optional


In a mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and cardamom or cinnamon. Add the milk and oil; stir until combined. Stir in the nuts and dried fruit. Spread the batter evenly in the bottom of a 3 1/2 or 4 quart slow cooker.

In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, water, pear nectar or apple juice, butter or margarine and ginger. Bring to boiling; boil for 2 minutes. Pour mixture evenly over the batter in the slow cooker.

Cover; cook on high heat setting for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted 1 inch into the center comes out clean. Let stand, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes to cool slightly before serving. If desired, serve warm with ice cream or light cream.


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