4 ripe Williams pears
250g Castor Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
250g Puff pastry
Place the sugar in a dry 24cm oven proof skillet over a medium heat, when the sugar begins to caramelise, give the occasional stir with a wooden spoon. When all the sugar has dissolved and caramelised, immediately remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
Peel the pears, slice lengthways and remove the core with a melon baller. Arrange the pears, flat side up on the caramel.
Roll out the puff pastry to the approximate thickness of an old £1 coin, cut out a 24cm circle (plates make ideal stencils), use a fork to prick the pastry (do this lots- key to a crispy end result is letting the moisture from the pears escape).
Lay the pastry over the pears, pushing the edges lightly into the cooled caramel. Bake at 190C for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes (no longer) and VERY carefully turn out by quickly flipping onto a large serving plate or chopping board (keep hands clear, caramel can give you mean burns). Serve with plenty of ice cream!