The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - LIFE -

Serves: 6

■ Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

■ 2 tsp (10 mL) plus 2/3 cup (160 mL) sugar

■ 1 tbsp (15 mL) un­salted but­ter, at room tem­per­a­ture

■ 3 ex­tra-large eggs, at room tem­per­a­ture

■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) sifted all-pur­pose flour 3/4 cup (180 mL) whip­ping cream

■ 3/4 cup (180 mL) whole milk

■ 1 tbsp (15 mL) pear brandy

■ Pinch of star anise grated with a Mi­croplane zester

■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) kosher salt

■ 4 ripe Bartlett pears

■ Lime zest, for gar­nish

1. Pre­heat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Ar­range two racks equally spaced in the oven.

2. Place six (6 1/2-inch, or 16-cm) in­di­vid­ual gratin dishes on two sheet pans.

3. In a small bowl, com­bine the vanilla seeds with the 2 tsp (10 mL) of sugar. Spread the but­ter in the six gratin dishes and sprin­kle with the vanilla and sugar mix­ture. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of an elec­tric mixer fit­ted with the pad­dle at­tach­ment, beat the eggs and the re­main­ing 2/3 cup (160 mL) sugar on medium speed, un­til blended.

5. Lower the speed and add the flour, cream, milk and brandy. Whisk in the star anise and salt and set aside for 10 min­utes. It will be the con­sis­tency of pan­cake bat­ter.

6. Mean­while, peel the pears and cut them in half through the stem. Us­ing a melon baller, re­move the cores and, us­ing a small par­ing knife, re­move the stems from the cen­tre of the pears.

7. With the cut sides down, slice each half cross­wise in 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick slices, keep­ing the pear’s shape in­tact.

8. Trans­fer half a pear to each gratin dish, fan­ning them out in over­lap­ping slices down the mid­dle of the dish and us­ing the ex­tra small pieces to fill in the sides.

9. Di­vide the bat­ter equally among the gratins (the pears will only be half im­mersed in the bat­ter) and bake for 35 to 40 min­utes, un­til the edges are golden brown and the cus­tard is set. Sprin­kle with lime zest and serve hot or warm.

Pro tip: Bartlett pears go from hard to mealy re­ally quickly. Choose pears that are firm and al­low them to sit at room tem­per­a­ture un­til they just yield to firm pres­sure.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.