- For the caramel:
- ¼ cup water
- Saffron, a pinch
- 200 g sugar
- 6-8 firm green pears
- 2 lemons, juiced and 1 zested
- 100 g sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To make the caramel, heat the water and saffron in a saucepan over a medium heat for 30 seconds, then add the sugar. Heat until the sugar begins to melt, then cook for a further 5 minutes, or until it turns a golden brown colour. Carefully pour the hot caramel into a 23 cm cake tin.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Thinly slice the pears using a mandolin or a sharp knife. Squeeze the lemon juice over the sliced pears to prevent them from turning brown.
Start layering the sliced pears on top of the caramel. After the third layer, sprinkle over some of the sugar, lemon zest and black pepper. Repeat the process with the remaining pears.
Place the cake tin into a larger baking or roasting tin and half fill with hot water.
Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, removing the foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.
Remove the cake tin from the larger tin and cover with a serving dish. Carefully invert the dish to remove the pear stack from the cake tin. Serve immediately with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, or as a side dish to a roast.