Pear is a popular fall flavor. Pear sorbet is one of our favorite seasonal treats.
But you can also churn pears into ice cream, as we discovered in this recipe by Samantha Seeley, who blogs on food from her home in that great food mecca, Hudson Valley, New York. She contributed the recipe to the delicious recipe files on VermontCreamery.com.
Make a double batch, because the single quart doesn’t last very long!
Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 30 minutes. With freezing, total time is 6 hours, 45 minutes. You can see the recipe with full photos at Sweet-Remedy.com.
RECIPE: PEAR CRÈME FRAÎCHE ICE CREAM
Ingredients For 1 Quart
Calling all ice cream gourmets: Make Pear Crème Fraîche Ice Cream. Photo courtesy Sweet Remedy | Vermont Creamery.
Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche: We love it! Photo courtesy Vermont Creamery.
1. WASH, peel and chop the pears. Combine the pears and the arrowroot or cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add the water and place over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, while stirring. The mixture will thicken up. Refrigerate until you are ready to churn the ice cream mixture.
2. BEAT the milk and eggs together in a large saucepan. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger and cook over medium-low heat. Constantly stir with a wooden spoon until thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat. Once cooled, add the heavy cream and place plastic wrap directly on the top of the mixture. Refrigerate for 4 hours or longer.
3. CHURN the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churning is complete, add the crème fraîche to the ice cream, it will resemble soft serve. Mix in the pear mixture and maple glazed pecans recipe. Transfer to a container with a lid that is suitable for freezing. Freeze until frozen through, usually about 3-4 hours.
HOW TO PICK A PEAR
Anjou, Bartlett and Bosc pears are varieties that can be eaten raw or cooked. Other varieties, such as Forelle and Seckel, are better eaten raw.
Pears are one of the few fruits that are much better when they’re picked before they ripen. Pears ripen from the inside out, so as soon as the stem end has a slight give to it when gently pressed, the fruit is ripe. Don’t wait for the midsection to be soft.
Buy firm pears and place them in a paper bag to ripen if you need them in a day or so. Placing a banana or an apple in the bag speed up ripening (here’s why).
Crème fraîche (pronounced crem fresh, French for “fresh cream”) is a thickened cream. It’s not as thick as sour cream, but more of the consistency of yogurt, which is an appropriate analogy because it is slightly soured with bacterial culture. Originally from Normandy, the dairy heartland of France, today it is used extensively in Continental and American fine cuisine.
Sour cream, which is more accessible and less expensive, can be substituted in most recipes; but crème fraîche has advantages: it can be whipped, and it will not curdle when cooked over high heat. In addition, it is usually a bit lighter in body than commercial sour creams, more subtly sour, and overall more elegant.
Crème fraîche is made by inoculating unpasteurized heavy cream with Lactobacillus cultures, letting the bacteria grow until the cream is both soured and thick and then pasteurizing it to stop the process. Thus, authentic crème fraîche cannot be made at home because generally, only pasteurized cream is available to consumers. To add Lactobacillus to pasteurized cream will cause it to spoil instead of sour.
The only negative to crème fraîche is that it’s pricey. You can make your own with far less expense with this crème fraîche recipe.