Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Adventures with the Ice Cream Maker: Pear Caramel Ice Cream


I know I should be posting something more Thanksgiving-like, such as pumpkin pie (but we all know I hate pumpkin) or something to do with turkey.  However, once thing I have noticed over the last few years of living in California is that Thanksgiving can kind of sneak up on you, since the weather doesn't really change.  That is why I think it is ok to post this ice cream --  it has lots of good fall flavors, but it is appropriate for a place where it is going to be 70 degrees on Thanksgiving day.

This is Pear Caramel Ice Cream from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop.  Once again, David knocks it out of the park with this flavor combination.  You might think it would be too sweet, but the caramel cooks long enough to get a strong, complex and not to sweet flavor.  When you eat this ice cream, you can really taste both the pear and the caramel and they hit you at slightly different times, making the flavor of this ice cream really interesting and the color of the ice cream a gorgeous pale color.  This would be a fine thing to eat on Thanksgiving weekend (although not after turkey if you are kosher -- maybe a midnight snack?).  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Here is the recipe:
Pear-Caramel Ice Cream

  • 3 medium-sized ripe pears, peeled and cored
  • 3/4 c. + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspooon coarse salt
  • a few drops of fresh lemon juice
  1. Dice the pears into 1/4-inch pieces.
  2. Spread the sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, carefully watching and stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula until melted. 
  3. When the sugar is a deep amber, stir in the pears. The caramel will seize, that's ok. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally (again with a heat-proof spatula – caramel will burn heck out of you) for ten minutes. The sugar will have dissolved.
  4. Remove from the ehhat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cream, then mix in the rest of the cream, salt, and lemon juice.
  5. Cool to room temp, puree until smooth, press through a strainer.
  6. Chill according to your ice-cream maker manufacturer's instructions. 

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