A grown up pudding for a dinner party, serve these with whipped cream or ice cream
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Place four tablespoons of the sugar in a pan with the water and vanilla pod and boil for five minutes. Add the lemon juice and pears to the pan and simmer until the pears are tender. Remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool a little then remove the pears from the poaching syrup.
Once cooled, cut off the bulbous part of the pears and thinly slice. Place the pear slices in a dish, pour over the pear brandy and let steep. Place the remaining parts of the pears in a blender and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pear purée to a pan, bring to a boil and thicken with the cornflour mixed with a little of the poaching syrup.
For the sauce, melt the butter and sugar in a pan until it is a rich golden-brown in colour. Pour in the cream, bring to a boil then remove the pan from the heat and pass the caramel through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Set it aside in a warm place.
To finish the soufflés, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks then fold in the remaining sugar a spoonful at a time. Continue whisking until the mixture is thick and smooth. Gently fold the whisked egg whites into the pear purée.
Place a little butter in the bottom of each of the omelette pans and heat gently on the hob. Divide the mixture between the pans, leave on the hob on a low heat for a few seconds then transfer the pans to the oven for about six minutes or until cooked.
When you are nearly ready to serve, put the pear slices and brandy in a small saucepan and warm gently on a low heat. Remove the pear slices with a slotted spoon and discard the brandy. Gently tip the omelette soufflés onto plates, add the pear slices and drizzle with the caramel sauce.
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