Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice down the middle of the vanilla bean, opening it up flat. Scrape the beans out and place in a small bowl with the 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix together. Butter the 9-inch oven-proof skillet and then dust with the vanilla sugar. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer with a paddle, beat the eggs, and then reduce the speed to low as you add 2/3 cup sugar, the flour, salt, heavy cream, milk, grated anise and pear brandy. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth, and then let the batter rest for 10 minutes. To ensure a smooth batter, I ran my batter through a sieve which ensured a consistency. I then removed the remaining anise and sprinkled it through out the batter upon pouring it into the pan after it rested.
While the batter is resting, peel, quarter, core and then slice the pears into the size and thickness you prefer. Place them in a single layer at the bottom of the skillet. Pour the batter over the top. Bake until golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes (I could have left mine in five more minutes and brought more browning which would have been absolutely fine.).