I love pears. Barletts are my favorite – perfumey, soft and so juicy that the sticky juice runs down your hand as you bite into them. A second pear fact is that they do not travel well on bike. I was SO careful, packing them on the very top of my cargo bag on my way home from the farmer’s market on Saturday, but all of the re-paving and road construction were conspiring against me in my hopes of getting home without bruising the precious cargo.
By the time I returned home, I could see that 5 of 10 pears were beginning to bruise, and would need to be dealt with immediately. And what’s a girl to do with bruised pears, except make ice cream! I decided on a roasted pear ice cream, very similar to my roasted banana ice cream. The roasting amplifies the essence of pear, and makes them even sweeter. Once they’ve been roasted, just pour all the ingredients into the blender, and whiz it up until smooth, then chill and turn in your ice cream maker. Simple, right?! Now go make some – no excuses!
Roasted Pear Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
1/2 cup per serving
285 calories per serving, 14g fat, 39g carbs, 4g fiber, 30g sugar
5 medium, ripe Bartlett pears, cored and cubed
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 can coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
squeeze of lemon juice
pinch of kosher salt
2 T brandy
1/2 cup pecan pieces
2 T maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350. Core and cube the pears into 1″ pieces, no need to peel. Toss the pears into a pyrex pan, and sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over the pears, and mix briefly to combine. Bake the pears for 40 minutes.
- While the pears roast, pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan with 1/4 cup brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Take the split vanilla bean, and scrape all the seeds out of it and plop them into the pan. Add the bean husks into the pot. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat for a few moments until it is hot, not boiling. Stir, then remove from heat, cover and let the vanilla steep while the pears roast.
- Make the praline pecans: Place the pecan pieces on a small sheet pan, and toast for the last 15 minutes of pear-roasting time. When they’re toasty, drizzle the maple syrup over them, and stir quickly to coat. Turn the pecans out onto a small piece of parchment, and place in the freezer, until hard. Then, store the pecans in a storage container in the freezer until you’re ready to make the ice cream.
- After 40 minutes of roasting time, remove the pears from the oven, and pour into the blender along with the coconut milk (remove the vanilla bean husks), squeeze of lemon juice and brandy. Puree until very smooth, then pour into a storage container. Chill for a few hours, or overnight before churning in your ice cream machine.
- Turn in your ice cream maker, adding the praline pecans in the last five minutes of turning. Pour the finished ice cream into a storage container and stash in the freezer to firm up.