3 large (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb. total) ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored, cut in half lengthwise
5 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Place a large oven-proof frying pan over medium heat. Add anise seed and butter. Cook pears until lightly browned on both cut and rounded sides; about 10 minutes. Turn pears over occasionally. When pears are browned, turn cut side down and space evenly apart in pan; remove from heat and keep warm.
While pears are cooking, separate the eggs; whip egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form, then whip in sugar. Continue beating until whites hold stiff peaks. With unwashed beaters, beat yolks in another bowl. Stir in vanilla and flour; beat thoroughly. Stir a cup of the egg whites into yolks, then fold yolk mixture gently into whites.
Pour egg mixture over the pears, making sure that the mix fills between the fruit. Cook over medium heat until pancake is dark gold on bottom (lift a corner with a spatula to check). Then bake pancake in a 300° oven until the top is dark gold color and the center is set (cut to test), about 15 minutes.
With a knife, loosen pancake from pan sides. Place a large plate (slightly wider than frying pan) over the pan; invert pancake and lift off frying pan. Cut into 6 wedges.