Pear Ginger Ice Cream (#37)

22 11 2012

#4409.  The Bartlett Pear.  When bright green, it is crispy and tart with just a hint of pear flavour.  When golden yellow (be patience!), it is supple, juicy, and absolutely bursting with sweetness.

Bartlett pear

When fully ripe, Bartlett pears are golden yellow, sometimes with a tinge of pink.

Bartlett pears are extremely versatile in the kitchen.  They can be made into jams and chutneys, added to salads, used for baking, or dried and eaten as a snack.  A ripe pear — sliced, chilled, and with a squeeze of lemon — makes for the simplest of desserts.  But even better is a ripe pear cooked with some lemon, sugar, and fresh and ground ginger, then whirled into a gingery ice cream.  Indeed, it’s a triple whammy of ginger, but don’t worry, the sweet taste of the pears still emerges.

For an ultimate treat, serve a scoop of this ice cream with a simple yellow cake or with a fruit crisp.

Pear Ginger Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream:

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Gingered Pears:

3 cups chopped pears (use really ripe ones)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Pinch of sea salt

For the Ice Cream:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add the ginger, 2 cups of the half-and-half, and the vanilla.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  4. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining 1 cup of the half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
  5. Chill overnight in the fridge.

For the Gingered Pears:

  1. While the ice cream is chilling, prepare the gingered pears.
  2. Toss the pears with the lemon juice.
  3. Combine the pears, sugar, chopped ginger, and spices in a heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, cool, and chill overnight in the fridge.

To Finish:

  1. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing the ginger to extract as much liquid and gingery goodness as possible.
  2. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. In the final stages of churning, add the pear ginger compote and churn to distribute throughout the ice cream.
pear ginger ice cream

The Official Taster says: “A perfect partner to our apple crisp tonight.”





Thanksgiving Ice Cream Recipes

17 11 2012

Five more days until American Thanksgiving!  If you are still searching for the perfect dessert recipe for your Thanksgiving feast, why not give one of these ice cream recipes a try?

Top Pick: Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Runners-Up: Cranberry Orange Ginger Ice Cream and Apple Pie Ice Cream

Anytime Classics: Maple Whisky Walnut Ice Cream and Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream





Cranberry Orange Ginger Ice Cream (#31)

11 10 2012

The taste of fall continues!  This week’s ice cream features the BC cranberry.

British Columbia is one of the largest cranberry growing regions in the world.  Most cranberry bogs in BC are in the Lower Fraser Valley, with a few over on Vancouver Island.  Every fall, when the berries ripen and turn a gorgeous, deep red colour, cranberry farmers flood their fields in preparation for harvesting.  A harvester is then driven through the beds to shake the berries off the vines and into the water.  The berries, which are filled with little air pockets, float at the surface until they are corralled, transferred onto trucks, and whisked off for further processing.  Check out Lauren Robertson’s video about her trip to a cranberry farm in Delta, BC during harvest time — the sea of red berries is incredibly dramatic.  Lucky gal, I’d love to dance in a cranberry bog and scoop up fresh berries to use in all my fall recipes.  But until that time, I’ll rely on the fresh berries I get at the supermarket.

This ice cream recipe marries a delightfully tart Cranberry Orange Ginger Compote with sweet vanilla ice cream.  The compote is incredibly easy to make, taking about 15 minutes from start to finish.  I’d suggest doubling the compote recipe, saving the extras to serve with roast chicken or turkey, spread onto a deli sandwich, or dollop over hot cereal, pancakes, or waffles (along with a generous pour of maple syrup, of course!)

cranberry sauce

Cranberry Orange Ginger Compote — tastes like fall!

Even after making a double batch of compote, I still have extra cranberries on hand.  Readers, do you have any cranberry recipes you’d like to share with me?

Cranberry Orange Ginger Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream: (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cranberry Orange Ginger Compote:

2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 orange

For the Ice Cream:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  4. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.  Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Chill overnight in the fridge.

For the Cranberry Orange Ginger Compote:

  1. While the ice cream is chilling, prepare the compote.
  2. Combine the first four ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop and soften, about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
  3. While the compote is cooking, zest the orange and chop finely.  Over a small bowl, peel and segment the orange, taking care to keep all the juice from the orange.  Cut each of the segments into small pieces.
  4. In the final two minutes of cooking, add the orange zest, juice, and segments to the compote.  Stir.
  5. Remove from the heat, cool, and chill overnight in the fridge.

To Finish

  1. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Spread a quarter of the ice cream into a chilled dish.  Spoon 1/3 of the compote in random dollops onto the ice cream.  Repeat another two times (3 layers of ice cream, 3 layers of compote).  Top with the remaining quarter of the ice cream.
  3. Chill thoroughly in the freezer until firm.
cranberry orange ginger ice cream

The Official Taster says: “This is one of my favourites! I love the contrast between sweet and tart.”





Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream (#30)

4 10 2012

Welcome, October!  Welcome, Fall!  Here are the top 10 things I love about this time of year:

10) Fall fashion (classy, sophisticated)
9) The return of soups and stews in the slow cooker
8) Halloween costumes
7) Mid-Autumn Festival
6) Harvest time in the garden (for others; alas, I have no garden!)
5) Beautiful colours in the trees
4) Crunching through leaves
3) Golden sunshine
2) Thanksgiving and time with family
1) Pumpkins

I especially love pumpkins.  How can you NOT have a smile on your face when you see a collection of pumpkins (and squashes and gourds) of all shapes, sizes, and colours?  Large, small, yellow, orange, white, green, cute, ugly, I love them all!  And they taste pretty good too.

pumpkins, squashes, Keremeos

Pumpkins galore in Keremeos, BC

This year, my sister will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner.  Rather than sticking with tradition and having pumpkin pie for dessert, I thought we could end dinner 52 Scoops style — with Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream.  You can use freshly cooked and pureed pumpkin or canned pumpkin for this recipe.  I opted for the latter and had great results.  If you use canned pumpkin, just be sure to use 100% pure pumpkin and do NOT use pumpkin pie filling.

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!

Pumpkin Ice Cream (makes about 1.5 L)

2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup pure pumpkin puree

  1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream, spices, and salt.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  4. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
  5. When the custard is cool, whisk in the pumpkin puree.
  6. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  7. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
pumpkin pie ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Try it with a drizzle of maple syrup too!”





Apple Pie Ice Cream (#29)

27 09 2012

A few weekends ago, my parents, sister, and I went off on our annual wine tasting trip to the Okanagan.  I find mid-September — after Labour Day and before the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival — to be the best time to visit.  The roads are quiet, there are no insane crowds, fruits and veggies are at their prime, and the fall sunshine is warm and golden.  The place is beautiful.

This year, we focused on wineries on the Naramata bench.  Tasting was, of course, our main focus, but I’d have to say that our most delightful stop was at Dream Acres, a small apple orchard beside Lake Breeze Winery.  We were drawn to Dream Acres’ road side fruit and jam stand and the gala apple trees that were growing right next to it — it was the cutest set up and the trees were absolutely laden with apples.  The owner just happened to be outside during our visit and invited us to pick some apples off his trees.  Not the galas though, these are my grand kids’ trees and they’d kill me if I let you pick off them!  He led us to his McIntosh grove instead, where we excitedly picked a couple dozen apples.  They were truly the most amazing, juicy apples I have ever tasted, and just 30 cents a pound to boot!

apple tree

McIntosh apples at Green Acres Orchard, Naramata BC

apple tree

Happy customers!

The apples just begged to be made into pie, but since I’m not in the business of making pie, Apple Pie Ice Cream it is then — the first of several ice cream recipes celebrating the tastes of fall!

This recipe involves pan frying apples with some cinnamon, sugar, and other warming spices, and then churning the fruit into a luscious vanilla ice cream base.  (I used the little McIntoshes, along with some Galas and Jonagolds I picked up in Keremeos on our way home.)  Don’t be scared by the intensity of spices if you sneak a taste of the apples before churning it into the vanilla ice cream.  When mixed together, the flavour mellows and you have a wonderfully balanced combination of sweet and spice.  Think apple pie à la mode (sans pie crust, since I’ve never been a huge fan of crust).  It’s a perfect dessert for those first days of fall.

Apple Pie Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream:

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Spiced Apples:

3 cups finely chopped apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Pinch of sea salt

For the Ice Cream:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  4. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.  Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Chill overnight in the fridge.

For the Cinnamon Spiced Apples:

  1. While the ice cream is chilling, prepare the cinnamon spiced apples.
  2. Toss the apples with the lemon juice.
  3. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the apples, sugar, and spices.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and all the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, cool, and chill overnight in the fridge.

To Finish:

  1. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. In the final stages of churning, add the cinnamon spiced apples and churn to distribute throughout the ice cream.
apple pie ice cream

The Official Taster was out of town at a conference this week, so my sister fulfilled the role of Guest Taster.   The Guest Taster says: “HOLY SH*T, this is gooooood ice cream!!!”








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