A very French, very guest house in the Dordogne, late-supper slice. Wherever you are, this should take you there. I use pears, they use pears. You could go plums, or crystallized ginger or berries. Just get the rice flan technique under your belt and let your whim take you where it will.
Ready in: 50 min
115 g/4 oz/½ cup unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
115 g/4 oz/heaped ½ cup caster/granulated sugar
4 drops of almond extract
75 g/2½ oz/heaped ½ cup self-raising/self-rising flour
50 g/1¾ oz/heaped ¼ cup ground rice
4 ripe pears
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp flaked/slivered almonds
jam, cream or custard
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and lightly grease a 25 cm/10 in cake pan or flan dish.
Cream the butter and caster/granulated sugar together In a large glass bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and almond extract, then fold in the flour and ground rice. Spoon this mixture into the prepared pan.
Peel and quarter the pears and toss them in the lemon juice and brown sugar. Arrange them in the pan and gently press them into the cake mixture. Bake for 10 minutes, then sprinkle the flaked/slivered almonds on top of the flan and bake for a further 25 minutes, or until the top is a beautiful golden brown. Err on the side of brown!
Serve with a dollop of good jam, fresh cream or custard.