Sugar and spice mingle in this stunning terrine constructed of layers of paper-thin pear slices that are baked until meltingly tender. A dusting of star anise imparts a subtle but memorable zing.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Bring water and 3/4 cup sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook, swirling pan occasionally if sugar darkens unevenly, until mixture turns dark amber. Pour caramel into a 6 1/2-inch charlotte mold that's 3 1/2 inches deep, swirling mold to coat bottom and sides. (Caramel may crack as it cools.)

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  • Place star anise in a small bowl. Combine salt and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another small bowl. Place lemon juice in a third small bowl.

  • Peel 3 pears. Using a mandoline or a handheld slicer, slice each pear lengthwise 1/8 inch thick, stopping at the core and turning over to slice the opposite half.

  • Arrange 1 layer of pear slices in a tight, overlapping circle in mold, working counterclockwise to cover the bottom. Brush lightly with lemon juice, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar mixture. Arrange next layer of pear slices in a tight, overlapping circle, working clockwise to cover previous layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar mixture and a pinch of star anise. Repeat slicing and layering with remaining pears. Continue to switch directions, and alternate lemon juice and star anise. Leave 1/2 inch of space at the top of mold.

  • Cover mold with foil. Place in a large roasting pan, and transfer to oven. Carefully pour boiling water into pan to come halfway up sides of mold. Bake until a tester inserted into center meets no resistance, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack, uncover, and let cool for 10 minutes.

  • Place a pie dish or a rimmed plate over mold, and quickly invert. Remove mold. Using a spatula, transfer terrine to a platter, reserving sauce in dish.

  • Pour sauce into a small saucepan, and boil until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Slice terrine, and serve warm with sauce and, if desired, blue cheese and walnuts.

Cook's Notes

Grate star anise using a Microplane zester or the finest holes on a box grater. Avoid preground star anise, which has a less intense flavor. If you don't have a charlotte mold, use a 6-inch cake pan that's 3 inches deep; the baking time remains the same.

Reviews (4)

85 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 40
  • 2 star values: 14
  • 1 star values: 7
Rating: Unrated
09/03/2017
I am also unable to find answers to the comments. Does anybody with MS read these?
Rating: Unrated
04/08/2017
The picture appears to have a [filtered] in the center. Charlotte molds do not have a center piece, so my question is, do you layer the pear slices just around the edges and leave the center empty? Or possibly it is just a trick of the eye and the angle of the picture. I don't want to make this until I know how I am supposed to layer the slices, so if anyone knows......HELP!
Rating: Unrated
11/02/2008
where do the answers appear to the comments and since I dont' know this, will I ever find the answer to my question?! lol
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Rating: Unrated
09/01/2008
Where can I buy a terrine like the one pictured? THANKS!