Recipe courtesy of Jacques Torres
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Total:
1 hr 6 min
Active:
30 min
Yield:
12 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

Caramelized Pears:

Directions

Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a whisk attachment, mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Using a paring knife, slice the vanilla bean in half. Add the vanilla seeds, flour, citrus zests, and half of the milk and mix on medium speed until well incorporated. Add remaining milk and cream, continue to mix until the crepe batter is smooth and homogenous. If the batter is lumpy, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve. Grease an 8-inch nonstick crerpe pan (a nonstick frying pan will also work) with about 1 teaspoon of the butter and place over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, wipe away any excess butter with a paper towel. Then pour a small amount of crepe batter, about 2 tablespoons, into the pan and tilt the pan to spread the batter evenly. The batter should barely cover the bottom of the pan. Cook until it browns around the edges, about 30 seconds. Use a large spatula or pancake turner to gently flip the crepe and cook for another 30 seconds. Adjust the level of heat as needed. The crepe should be thin, light, and unevenly browned. Slide the crepe onto a plate and continue to make crepes until all of the batter is used. If the crepes begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, butter the pan again.

Crepes may be stacked directly on top of each other and stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days, well-wrapped. Cold crepes may stick together; warm the crepes slightly in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds on high power, or in a moderate oven to separate easily.

To assemble the crepes, use a sharp paring knife to slice reserved vanilla pod halves into 3 strips lengthwise. If your vanilla bean halves are not wide enough to cut into 3 strips, just cut them in half lengthwise. These pieces will be used to tie the crepe bundles together. It is easiest to tie the bundles together if you have long, thin vanilla strips. Place 1 crepe on a clean work surface. Fill the center of the crepe with about 2 tablespoons of the caramelized pears. Fold the crepe in half so that it looks like a fan. Bring the ends of the fan towards the center and tie the bundle with a vanilla bean strip. Make 11 more crepe bundles. If you don't have enough vanilla bean strips you can just fold the crepes closed. Stand the crepe bundles upright in the center of the plates and serve.

Caramelized Pears:

Peel, core and cut the pears into 1/2-inch-thick slices and then cut in half crosswise. Heat a large heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is warm, sprinkle the sugar into the pan in an even layer so it will caramelize at the same time. As soon as you see the sugar begin to melt, start moving the pan over the burner to keep the sugar from burning. Tilt the pan from side to side so that the melted sugar runs over the unmelted sugar. Cook until all of the sugar is a light golden grown. Add butter and cook until melted. Add pears and spread evenly in the pan. Pour in rum. Let cook over medium-high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the pears are soft but not mushy. They should hold their shape but the tip of a paring knife should easily pierce them. If the pears are still hard when most of the liquid has evaporated, add a few tablespoons of water and continue cooling until the pears are done. Pour the caramelized pears onto a plate.

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