75 g/3 oz dried pears
300 ml/0.5 pt water
5 cm/2 in piece of cinnamon stick
50 g/2 oz granulated sugar
100 g/4 oz/0.5 cup butter
225 g/8 oz/1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
100 g/4 oz/1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
30 ml/2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
15 ml/1 tbsp lemon juice
Soak the pears in the water overnight.
Place in a saucepan with the cinnamon stick and granulated sugar.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until
tender. Leave to cool, then discard the cinnamon.
Grease a 20 cm/8 in sponge flan tin (pan). Beat the butter and half
the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 of the eggs, one at
a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour over the
surface and fold in with a metal spoon. Turn into the greased tin and
smooth the surface. Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5
for about 20 minutes until the centre springs back when lightly
pressed. Cool slightly, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool
completely. Transfer to an ovenproof serving plate.
Lift the pears out of the cold syrup and chop. Blend the cornflour
with the lemon juice and stir into the syrup. Bring to the boil and
cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Stir in the chopped pears. Separate the
remaining eggs and beat the yolks into the pear mixture. Turn into the
sponge flan case (pie shell). Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Whisk
in half the remaining sugar and whisk again until stiff and glossy.
Fold in the remaining sugar. Pile on top of the flan. Bake in the oven
at 190°C/ 375°F/gas mark 5 for about 10 minutes until lightly colored.