Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
Place pears in large bowl. Pour in 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water. Stir in sugar and butter until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Let cool. Stir in egg and vanilla.
Meanwhile, in large bowl; combine flour, baking soda, aniseed, baking powder and salt; stir in walnuts. Using wooden spoon, stir in pear mixture just until combined.
Spread in greased and parchment paper-lined 8-x-4-inch (1.5 L) loaf pan. Bake in centre of oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes.
Unmould pan and invert onto rack to let cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and store for at least 1 day before serving.