Make a syrup by slowly heating together the loaf sugar and water and then boiling rapidly for a few minutes; add a few drops of cochineal just to colour the syrup pink. Peel, halve and core the pears and put immediately into the syrup and stew until tender: about ½ hr. Take out the pears and reduce the syrup by rapid boiling to just over ½ pt., reheat the pears in the syrup before serving. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, warmed milk, castor sugar, lemon rind and melted butter. Slice the sponge cakes and arrange them in a buttered border mould. Pour the custard on to the sponge cakes. Stand the mould in a tray containing sufficient cold water to come about half-way up the sides of the mould. Bake 40 min. in a warm oven(335° F., Gas 3) until set.
Turn out on to a hot dish, arrange the pears on the border or in the centre and pour the syrup round.
Serve either hot or cold.