Friday, May 25, 2012

Caramelized Pear Ice Cream

Creamy dreamy very yummy ice cream from The Perfect Scoop.  I am informed that I should not even offer people chocolate sauce for this stuff, because it just detracts from the pear-ness (a little cinnamon and maybe a phyllo confection of some kind might be a better bet).  Here's what you do:

Peel and dice three ripe pears.  The smaller the dice, the easier the later steps.

Cover the bottom of a heavy nonreactive saucepan or skillet or what-have-you with 3/4 cup + 2 TB sugar.  Turn on medium high heat, and let the sugar melt and caramelize (you may want to stir gently when the edges start to melt to get the rest of it going). 

Once it is a deep amber color, add the pears.  The sugar will then seize up into pesky hard bits.  Do your best to get them to melt again by stirring and pressing into the pot with a heatproof spatula.  I find this is easier if you wait long enough (until that sugar really is amber and bubbly) to add the pears. (Properly caramelized sugar makes the flavor what it is, anyway).

Cook the pears in the sugar until soft, maybe 10 mins.  Remove from heat.  Add 1/2 cup heavy cream.  When that is mixed in, add another 1.5 cups cream, 1/8 tsp salt, and a few drops of lemon juice.  Allow to cool.  Liquify in a blender, then pass through a strainer to remove any pesky pear (or hard sugar) bits.  Chill overnight and blend according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

Amazing as it is, I might turn this into a custard next time.  Or add a ribbon of actual caramel.  If so, I will update this post accordingly.

By the way, if you want to make some pretty awesome ice cream without any machine at all, check this out.

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