Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I envisioned this blog to be simply a chat about life here on this calm farm.  Stories about the cows, ramblings about the seasons, even bleak stories on a lamb.  I was inspired though today to add a recipe.  Odd, I am not much of a recipe kind of guy, but I will give it a try.  It may frustrate you more than if I hadn't written anything, but enjoy.
First off, I have no pretty, style photo to accompany this recipe.  I ate almost all of the ice cream.  Since that time I finished the last little smidge in the bottom of the pan.  I couldn't help it. I liked it.
The ice cream in question is a pear-apple caramel dessert.  I made it on Sunday for dinner.  I never even got around to tasting it till a half hour ago. And then I ate it all. Finished it down to the pan.  
The plan for the ice cream base is thus:  12 egg yolks, 4 cups of creamy-milk, one and a quarter cups of sugar.  Warm the cream on the range till it starts to steam a bit but certainly doesn't scald.  While the cream is warming, whisk the sugar and yolks in a large mix bowl.  Mix them well, not whipped till they are pale, but certainly till they are completely incorporated.
When the cream has warmed amply, gently pour it in a stream into the egg-sugar mix, whisking all the while.  A towel under the bowl will assist in keeping the whole bowl-eggs-cream-whisk-hot pan from going all over.  Again, no need to go crazy on the mixing, but get all the little bits of sugary eggs into the cream.  
Pour the whole custard back into the pan -- don't throw it into the sink just yet.  With a rubber spatula, clean the mixing bowl of its creaminess.  Pull up the heat a bit so that it is gently heating the custard. Mix constantly with the spatula.  It will be thin, thin, thin and then suddenly begin to thicken.  Lower the heat, keep it moving  until the custard has thickened; till it coats a spoon as they say.  Remove from heat.
With that rubber spatula transfer the hot thick custard back into the original bowl through a fine sieve.  All the errant bits of whites and any other nasty bits will be stopped.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and cool for quite a while.
While cooling prepare the fruity mix.  One heavy pan pour in a couple of cups of sugar or so and a bit of water -- maybe a quarter cup.  Sorry to sound so vague, but I never measure.  Too strict, too confining.  Bring to a boil and boil and boil until the sugar begins to caramelize.  Might take a while.  Be patient and be safe. Caramelized sugar is oh so hot and quiet dangerous.  When you like the color, pull of the heat and place the pan in a shallow bit of cold water.  Cools it off quickly.  Makes a lot of steam and noise too.
Pare and core and chop up a bunch of pears and the odd apple.  Comice pears I had were lovely.  Full of flavor, juicy and a bit too ugly for the table.  Once they are all chopped, throw them into the caramel pot. Place back on the range, add some water and cook.  The idea is to cook the pears and apples; to break them down, not to continue cooking the caramel, so keep a fair amount of liquid in the pot at all times.  Add water as needed, you can always boil it out.
When you like it, it is wet enough and the pears are soft enough, pull it off.  I ended up with a sauce, a fairly thin sauce of half fruit / half caramel. Add more pears if you need, add more water if you need, boil it down if it just is too thin.  When happy, chill it all down completely.
Once the custard and the fruit are cooled, chill the custard in a ice cream freezer.  Nothing too unusual here, but don't let it completely freeze.  When it is thick, not frozen, but thick enough to stand up on its own, pull it from the ice cream freezer.  Pile it into a large chilled bowl.  Pour in some of the pear sauce.  Fold it in with a large rubber spatula. Gently, deliberately, but completely.  Swirl is the goal.  Add some more sauce if it needs it, go little by little till you like the color.  When happy,pour it all into a tight freezer pan and freeze solid.
I loved this.  Luckily I have some more fruit swirl left to add to custard tomorrow.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.