1Preheat oven to moderately slow, 160 C. Lightly grease a deep, 6-cup ovenproof dish.
2In a medium frying pan, combine brown sugar and water, Heat on low, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
3Add pear slices and simmer, uncovered, 3 to 5 mins, until just tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
4In a medium saucepan, bring milk, cream and vanilla bean to boiling point. Remove from heat. Set aside, covered 5 mins. Discard vanilla bean.
5Arrange bun and pear in alternate layers in prepared dish. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. caster sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Gradually beat in warm cream mixture.
6Strain egg mixture carefully over bun and pear. Place dish in a large baking pan, adding enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dish.
7Bake 55 to 60 mins, until set.
8Serve with ice-cream or cream.
TIP: Pudding can be covered with plastic wrap and chilled for up to 5 days.
Recipe & Photo: Woman's Day/BauerSyndication.com.au