Last night we made another recipe from The Perfect Scoop. Caramel pear. It was as good as it sounds. It was even worth the loss of my plastic spatula.
The recipe starts by placing 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a saucepan. You turn the heat to medium and melt the sugar. B gave me the spatula that came with my Cuisinart food processor and as the sugar started to dissolve, I noticed white pieces in the mixture. I also noticed that my spatula seems to have a new shape. Oops.
We cleaned the pot out and started over. This time we used my silicon spatula, which is heat resistant. Once the sugar was melted and turned a golden brown, we added three ripe pears which had been peeled and cut into small chunks. That cooked for about 10 minutes. The sugar gets a bit hard again because of the temperature change, but goes back to liquid again as the pears cook. This isn't a difficult process, but it is one that you must stay on top of. Stirring constantly is not optional.
Once that process is complete, you add a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. That is followed by a half a cup of cream. The mixture needs to cool to room temperature and then gets pureed in a food processor with some more cream.
From the food processor, you need to run the mixture through a strainer. I have since gone out and gotten a bigger strainer, making this process go a bit more quickly. Still, it does take a bit of work.
Once strained, we still needed to place it in an ice bath and in the fridge to cool. After it cools, it is ready for the ice cream maker. If you like (and we did), during the last five minutes of stirring, add some chopped candied ginger.
The final product is a beautiful light caramel color. The first taste is caramel, followed by a subtle pear flavor along with pear texture. I was surprised that you could still feel the pear texture despite all the pear has been through – tossed into molten sugar, pureed in a food processor, and then pushed through a strainer. The ginger adds a little spice and further enhances the pear.
Next time I promise to take pictures!!