Pear-Caramel Swirl Ice Cream (another guest post by S)

Posted on July 19, 2006 by Aun

I only became obsessed with making my own ice cream after I set eyes on the Musso Lussino Pro, a sexy, 38-pound stainless steel ice cream-churning R2D2 with its own built-in refrigerator unit. After reading the glowing review in Burt Wolf, Emily Aronson and Florence Fabricant’s The New Cook’s Catalogue (“makes superb ice cream of the exceptionally smooth and creamy sort you might have thought you’d never enjoy outside of Italy….chills 1½ quarts of ice cream in 25 to 35 minutes; 15 to 25 minutes quicker than the Simac”), I decided that I simply had to make my own ice cream and I couldn’t do it unless I had my own Musso Lussino Pro (yes, I’m like that when it comes to shoes too). For nearly half a decade now, my gleaming Musso has served me well.

The fantastic thing about ice cream is its versatility. It takes well to being under the spotlight and can be a fabulous headlining soloist. Yet, it is equally great at helping to pull an ensemble cast together. Whether it’s served in a cone or an elegant coup, it is usually greeted with enthusiasm. I love that ice cream can be both wholesomely simple and decadently sophisticated.

I have been dying to try Emily Luchetti’s pear-caramel swirl ice cream recipe in A Passion for Desserts. As it turned out, last week my fruiterer had received a gorgeous delivery of South African pears he called sugar pears. I couldn’t resist the pale green beauties dusted with a hint of blush pink. Armed with two bagsful of them, I decided that they would be perfect for Ms Luchetti’s tempting frozen confection. All I had to do was to wait for them to ripen.

I reckon that the ice-cream was well worth the wait. But then, I’ve always enjoyed eating cooked pears. As a toddler, my mother tells me, I was fond of eating spoonfuls of steamed pear. Spiked with a little pear liqueur (I used a Poire Williams one), this ice cream has subtle, yet unmistakable pear flavours. Coupled with swirls of caramel sauce I had strongly accented with vanilla salt, it made for a delish after-lunch snack on a blisteringly hot day! I can’t wait for my copy of Ms Luchetti’s latest book, A Passion for Ice Cream, to arrive with my next Amazon delivery.

Pear-caramel swirl ice cream
(adapted from A Passion for Desserts by Emily Luchetti)

Makes roughly 2 litres

1.5kg ripe pears
265g castor sugar
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup pear liqueur
6 large egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2½ cups whipping cream
1 cup cold caramel sauce (see below)

Peel, halve and core the pears. Cut them into 1.5cm thick slices. Cook the pears with 65g sugar, the lemon juice and 2 tbs of the pear liqueur over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan until the pears are soft and the juices have evaporated. Be sure to stir constantly. This step is important because if your puree is too moist, it will affect the texture of the ice cream. Let the pears cool before pureeing them in a food processor or blender. I passed them through a sieve at this point. Refrigerate until cold.

Whisk the egg yolks, salt and 100g sugar together. Heat the milk, cream and remaining 100g of sugar in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the eggs. Pour the liquid into a bain-marie and cook over simmering water, stirring continuously, until the liquid coats the back of a wooden spoon. Strain and cool. Refrigerate overnight.

Combine the pear puree, the cream mixture and the remaining pear liqueur. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Immediately after removing the ice cream from the machine, fold the caramel sauce into the ice cream, creating a swirled pattern. Freeze until firm.

Caramel sauce

Makes 1¾ cups

1½ cups sugar
½ cup water
1 cup whipping cream
40g unsalted butter
½ tsp vanilla salt

In a medium saucepan, stir the sugar, salt and water together. Cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Brush the insides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar from sticking to the sides of the saucepan. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase to high heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar turns amber. Remove the pan from the heat.

Carefully add ¼ cup cream (be careful, the caramel will splutter). Using a wooden spoon, stir the rest of the cream into the caramel. If the cream splutters, stop stirring. Let the bubbles subside before you continue stirring in the remaining cream. Stir until well combined then cool for another 5 minutes before whisking in the butter.

Let the caramel cool to room temperature before refrigerating it. (This caramel sauce can be made up to a week in advance and kept refrigerated.)

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. DBrane July 19, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    S really deserves a blog of her own!

  2. Vivilicious July 19, 2006 at 8:55 pm

    S., Absolutely drool-worthy ice cream, I love cooked pears and Poire William, too. I have been mulling over the Musso, should I? shouldn’t I? Think you have pushed me over the edge (of reason!) you naughty thing. Now just need to save a bob or two….

  3. jenjen July 19, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    This looks absolutely stunning. I am so in love with pears right now as they are in season here. You ice cream is fabulous.

  4. anabanana July 20, 2006 at 12:20 am

    Looks and sounds yummy! Where do you get the vanilla salt?

  5. matt July 20, 2006 at 2:43 am

    As if I needed ANOTHER excuse to eat ice cream? I simply must try this!

  6. Lynn July 20, 2006 at 8:58 am

    Hi S, thanks for your delicious post! I wish I could just grab the cone off the screen, I love ice cream!

    I’m a newbie when it comes to cooking and gadgets, possible to let me know how much your ice cream maker costs?

  7. Kat in the Hat July 20, 2006 at 10:03 am

    Hi S,
    Great to read your last 2 postings. I’m dying to try my hand at ice cream making but I absolutely can’t buy an industrial ice cream maker – we’ve just splurged on a professional ham slicer (working our way thru’ an exquisite leg of jambon d’Aoste) so the cost and diminishing storage space are real issues. Can you recommend any smaller/cheaper home version ice cream maker?
    Much appreciated.

  8. S July 20, 2006 at 11:51 am

    Vanessa: Go on, you won’t regret it! :P

    Zara’s Mama: You can still make ice cream without an ice cream machine. You just have to be a little more patient when you do it.

    Anon: Well, I’ve always enjoyed my booze…Thanks for dropping by.

    Dbrane: I know that if I did, it would consume my life! I think one blog in the family is enough for now.

    Viv: C’mon, you know you want it!

    Jenjen: Thanks! I wish we had a greater variety of them here.

    Anabanana: Oddly enough, I bought it in Taipei. It’s actually manufactured by a French company called Terre Exotique. If you’re in Singapore, Culina carries this brand but has a slightly different vanilla salt. I imagine, though, that you could blitz a vanilla pod and some fleur de sel together a la Jamie Oliver’s vanilla sugar.

    Matt: You must while you can get your hands on ripe pears. I’d love to see your picture of it.

    Lynn: The Musso doesn’t come cheap. It’s SIN$1,680. But if you love ice cream it’s a super investment.

    Kat in the Hat: I haven’t used it myself, but I’ve always recommended the Philips ice cream maker because a chef friend used to make ice creams for his restaurant in them. He uses a Musso now, but even with the Philips, his ice creams were good. The Philips retails for under SIN$80.

    I want a ham slicer too! But I need to get a new kitchen first. I am postively green with envy.

  9. Eggy July 20, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    “A Passion for Ice Creams” is out?? Gotta get me a copy :-) Thanks for the heads up.

  10. Ginger M. July 20, 2006 at 1:38 pm

    the picture looks perfect. I wonder if you got t it right at the first snap or were there many outtakes before getting to this shot? Do share the process!

  11. Amy July 21, 2006 at 12:45 am

    The ice cream looks delicious! I really hope to try it out. However, I’m woondering about the type of whipping cream you used. Can you share what brand you used and where you got it from?

  12. Nic July 21, 2006 at 4:54 am

    Oh. My. Goodness.
    This looks divine. Emily Luchetti’s book has been on my wishlist for some time. Perhaps I should bump it to the top!

  13. mingerspice July 21, 2006 at 10:15 am

    Oh wow – pear-caramel as an ice cream combination sounds fantastic! I’m having a mega craving now. Great photo, too.

  14. J July 22, 2006 at 1:07 am

    hi, it was super-yummy – thanks so much for sharing. funnily enough, i have on the table a bunch of sugar pears ripening along very nicely…destined for (what else?) preserves (i’m inclined towards a spiced caramel number from the ferber book)

  15. S July 22, 2006 at 11:11 am

    Eggy: You’re welcome.

    Ginger M.: Thank you! Only two scoops of ice cream were used in the making of this picture :P They were literally the ones we had after lunch. CH takes the pictures. We usally set it up together. In this case I just positioned the empty cones. He took a few test frames. We worked out which framing worked best and then I bring out the ice cream. He usually snaps a few frames and we pick one from our favourite three.

    Amy: I use Millac Dairy Whipping Cream which comes in 1 litre packets. Because I use so much of it, I find that these are a good buy at SIN$5.50 a pack. It is sold at Phoon Huat. I use the one in blue packaging which is contains actual dairy products. I forget what the other one is made of. Otherwise, President and Elle&Vire are slightly pricier but good options.

    Nic: Perhaps, perhaps. I’ll let you know after I read my copy!

    Mingerspice: Have a go at the recipe!

    J: You’re most welcome. That preserve sounds divine!

  16. S July 22, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Geeze, sorry for all the bizarre typos in my previous comment! I was writing in a hurry.

  17. risingsunofnihon July 24, 2006 at 12:41 am

    Thank you for the pear ice cream recipe, I can’t wait to squeeze in a chance to chill some of my own! The addition of the caramel swirls just makes it seem impossible to resist!

  18. Frederico July 24, 2006 at 2:16 am

    Wow…making ice cream is tough!

  19. Gourmet July 25, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    Simply delicious!!!! :-O)

  20. Gingersnap July 26, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Dear S

    Which ice cream recipe book would you recommend highly? I have acquired a few in the past but they have such varied ways of making ice cream (some say must chill first, others say no need etc) that I get confused just reading them! Would be grateful if you could recommend a tried and tested recipe book! Thanks!

    Gingersnap

  21. S August 2, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Gingersnap,

    I like Sherry Yard’s vanilla and chocolate ice cream recipes in The Secrets of Baking. For flavour ideas, I often dip into Caroline Liddel and Robin Weir’s Frozen Desserts. But these days, I prefer to interpret rather than follow ice cream recipes (that usually means trying it the way it is the first time and then tweaking it after]. I followed this pear-caramel swirl ice cream recipe religiously, but it turned out a little too icy for my liking.

  22. Amy August 5, 2006 at 4:08 am

    This looks fabulous! I this I will have to make some this weekend!

  23. Anonymous December 3, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    hi, just wanna ask a question on ice cream making, hope you dun mind I just attempted making my 1st tub of ice cream, and i stored it in an air tight container and kept it in the freezer. However, when i want to consume it, its rock hard, and i have to thaw it a little first. Is this normal?

  24. S December 4, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    hi Anon, it really depends on the kind of ice cream you made. If your ice cream consisted of just milk, cream and sugar and didn’t require you to make a custard base, yes it probably would require some thawing. Commerical ice creams tend to have added ingredients to make them ‘scoopable’.

    Adding some alcohol helps make ice cream easier to scoop (eg 1/2 to 1tsp of dark rum to vanilla ice cream). The use of honey or glucose also makes it less firm.

    Even with my custard-based icecreams, I sometimes leave them in the fridge for a few minutes before I scoop them. A lot of the time it has to do with the kind of ingredients and the quantities used.

    Check out the recipes in Caroline Liddel and Robin Weir’s Frozen Desserts.

  25. Anonymous December 4, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    hi S, Thanks for your time and help for answering my question. hope your thesis went well!=)

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