3 cups sugar
6 cups water
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
12 small or 6 large pears
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup poire William (pear brandy)
1 pint good-quality store-bought vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
Prep: 25 minutes—Cook: 30 minutes
This is a delicious and easy dessert, especially if you have beautiful pears. At fancy ice cream cafés in France, poached pears, a quenelle of vanilla ice cream, and hot chocolate sauce is a common dessert. But Eric has put a caramel sauce with it, one flavored appropriately, even obviously, with pear brandy, and mixed pistachio nuts into the ice cream. Everything can be prepared as much as a day in advance.
For the pears, place the sugar, water, and vanilla bean in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then lower the heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stems intact.
Add the pears to the simmering liquid. Cover with a circle of parchment paper to ensure even cooking and cook small pears for 15 minutes, large pears for 25 minutes, or until a small knife inserted in the bottom of a pear goes in with little resistance. Take the pan off the heat and cool the pears in the cooking liquid.
For the caramel sauce, heat the sugar over medium-high heat. Once the sugar melts, allow it to cook until it has a light caramel color. Take the caramel off the heat and add the heavy cream; be careful, the cream may sputter out of the pan. Stir to fully incorporate. Add the poire William and stir to combine.
To serve, place 2 small or 1 large pear, on each dessert plate. Combine the ice cream and pistachios in a mixing bowl, stirring to combine. Place a scoop of ice cream next to the pear(s) on each plate. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the warm caramel sauce over the pears and ice cream, and serve immediately. (Refrigerate any remaining sauce for another time.)
A Return to Cooking
by Eric Ripert & Michael Ruhlman
352 pages, more than 125 recipes
Nearly 400 color photographs and illustrations
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created April 2004
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