Pear-Caramel Ice Cream
I am finding it hard to believe that July is already half way over. Where has the summer gone! I feel like we have waited so long for the warm weather, but it still hasn't really gotten here. Sure, we've definitely had some 80 degree days, even a few uncomfortable muggy days. But not continuously. The even stranger thing is, I am okay with that. Who would have thought!? I have been reaping the benefits of the sunny days. We have been to the pond, the beach, done walks, played in kiddie pool, gone strawberry picking, grilled, and I have even been able to do some late night runs after the kids go to bed. Nothing like exercising without the stroller! It's freedom! On top of enjoying the weather as it comes, I have been looking inside at all the projects I want to do to the house. Considering it was in built in 1910 and probably last remodeled in the 80's, I cannot wait to do some DIY upgrades. A coat of paint can do wonders! My eye has been on the kitchen since we moved in. I have been researching painting cabinets for ages it seems like. I am the type of person that, as soon as I get it into my head to do a project, I want it done yesterday. AKA, no patience. Why wait when you can do it now? Yeah, that motto definitely clashes with my husband who never has enough time to do a quarter of the things that need to be done. All in due time. Right.
Moving on to this fabulous ice cream recipe. Pear caramel definitely sounds like a weird combination, but it totally works. The caramel is made by cooked sugar, then the pears are mixed into the caramel and cooked until softened and delicious. Then, to make it all that much better, heavy creamy is whisked in. Puréed, chilled, churned, then frozen, results in a creamy, delicious blend of flavors. A wonderful use of ripe fruit on a warm summer day.
Pear-Caramel Ice Cream
Yield: about 1 quart
3 medium-sized ripe pears, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
a few drops lemon juice
Spread sugar evenly in a large, nonreactive, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, watching carefully. When the edges begin to liquefy and darken, use a spatula to carefully stir the sugar to distribute the heat and melting. Once the sugar becomes a deep amber color, stir in the pear pieces. Some of the caramel may harden, but continue to stir until melted again. Cook the pears for 10 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the heavy cream. Stir well, then mix in the rest of the heavy cream, salt and lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature.
Once cool, purée in a blender or food processor until smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.