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.”


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