Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pear-Caramel Ice Cream

I got David Lebovitz's book The Perfect Scoop a couple weeks ago and had to try one of ice cream recipes. The book is divided into sections by ice creams, sorbets and sherberts, granitas, and sauces and toppings, etc. The recipes are laid out concisely and there are beautiful photos throughout the book which beckons the reader to make another recipe. I have been getting a ton of Bosc pears from my CSA so I decided to make the Pear-Caramel ice cream. To be honest, Bosc pears are not my favorite, I prefer Barlett or d'Anjous pears for eating. Bosc pears have a firmer flesh than other pears, making them perfect for baking or poaching. For more information on Bosc pears, click here. So my main goal was to get rid of these pears, but still make something I would enjoy. Overall, I enjoyed the ice cream, but next time I would go with David's suggestion to use Comice or Bartlett pears. I think the Bosc pears' flavor couldn't hold up to the caramel, so if you make this yourself use the pears suggested for a stronger pear flavor.

Ingredients for David Lebovitz's Pear-Caramel Ice Cream taken from The Perfect Scoop:
-3 medium sized pears, peeled and cored (Bartlett or Comice pears recommended)
-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
-2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
-A few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice (didn't have lemon on hand, so I didn't worry about it)

To begin, dice the pears into 1/4 inch pieces.
Spread the sugar in a large, nonreactive, heavy-bottom saucepan (mine was stainless steel). Cook sugar over medium heat and be sure to watch it carefully. When it begins to liquefy and darken at the edges, use a heat proof spatula to very gently stir the sugar, encouraging the other sugar to liquefy in the center.
Have your pear pieces ready, and once the sugar becomes a deep amber, stir the pear pieces in. Don't be afraid if some of the sugar hardens over the pears, they will eventually melt. Continue to cook the pears for about 10 minutes or until the pieces are cooked through.
Remove pear mixture from heat and add 1/2 cup cream, then mix in the remaining cream along with the salt and a few drops of lemon juice.
Let cool to room temperature and then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Note: I actually chilled mine completely before pureeing the mixture. Then press the mixture through a mesh strainer with a rubber spatula to move any tough pear fibers.
Then chill the mixture thoroughly and then pour into the ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions. For a firmer ice cream, place in the freezer for at least two hours.
This ice cream is good on its own, but is also nice paired with some caramelized pears on the side. Enjoy!

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