Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Wash, halve and slice the core out of the pears, then cut each half into three wedges.
When the oven is up to speed put the vacherin on a tray in the oven, still in the box but without the plastic cover – it’ll take 15 mins.
Put a large, heavy based pan on the heat and get the oil good and hot in it. You want to sear the pear pieces for about a minute per side, so they pick up some good golden colour but remain firm in the middle with some bite – this all requires some quick work with the tongs.
Once the pears are golden, pour in the calvados and stand back. As soon as the flame has died away turn the heat off and take the pears out to cool down a bit. Poke sticks into them in a way that will make them dunkable in the molten cheese.
Have your roughly chopped hazelnuts in a little dish on the side, and serve the whole lot up to your guests as soon as the cheese comes out – it should be hot, soft and gooey throughout, and if not pop it back in for a few minutes.
To eat, just tear through the top skin of the cheese revealing the molten richness below, dunk in your boozy pears (without letting them drop in) and if you feel like it, touch it in the dish of hazelnuts afterwards for a touch of crunch.
Recipe courtesy of Allegra McEvedy.