- Step 1
Place the vanilla bean, saffron, cinnamon, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a medium saucepan with 500ml (2 cups) water. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Step 2
Add the pears to the liquid, adding a little more water if the pears are not completely covered. Poach for 10-15 minutes until cooked (this will depend on the ripeness, if they take a skewer without too much resistance, they're ready). Transfer the pears to a bowl, increase heat to medium-high and boil until reduced by half. Pour over pears and refrigerate. Remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick before serving.
- Step 3
To make the fried cream, place the cream, lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla in a pan and bring to the boil, then set aside for 15 minutes to infuse.
- Step 4
Beat together 2 of the eggs, the egg yolks, sugar and flour until smooth and combined. Pour the infused cream over the egg mixture. Stir to combine.
- Step 5
Return the mixture to a clean saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is thick and smooth. Pour into a 16cm-square, greased baking dish, removing and discarding the cinnamon stick. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool then refrigerate for 3 hours or until solid.
- Step 6
Cut the set cream into 5cm squares or diamond shapes.
- Step 7
Beat the remaining eggs in a bowl and place the extra flour and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Dip the cream squares first in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, making sure they are thoroughly coated. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and, when it's hot, add the cream squares 2 or 3 at a time. Fry quickly until just golden. Use tongs to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel, to drain. Dust with cinnamon sugar and serve while hot with the poached pears.
* Cinnamon sugar is available from supermarkets.