“Vanilla Bean-Pear Ice Cream”

pear ice cream

The branches of our “accidental pear tree”,  which in this year of good rains & sunny days, are heavy with lovely ripe fruit. This tree began as a small patio tree living for one year in a pot, then after an especially hard winter it seemed dead. In a last-ditch attempt to keep it alive Wouter planted it along the alleyway outside our back fence. Needless to say our tree has flourished by “accident”…no attention paid to it, no regular watering, left to fend on its’ own it has grown into a tall, many branched lovely Seckel Pear tree. Beautiful, smooth skinned & naturally sweet.

And…..all ripe at once! Earlier than usual. What to do? Give some away of course..eat many right off the tree…I will make some pear preserves later this week. Have you ever had Pear Ice Cream?

“Vanilla Bean-Pear Ice Cream”


For this creamy, easy-to-make ice cream I used 5 very ripe pears, the seeds scraped from a vanilla bean and sweetened with some homemade Vanilla Bean Sugar (I shared this recipe along with how to make other aromatic sugars here.)


Instead of coring the pears first I just peel them and cut the fruit away from the core & chop. Much easier this way. Orange zest really livens up the taste. Adding vanilla bean seeds and vanilla sugar added an extra flavor layer.  Instead of using all cream, half cream and half whole milk lightened things up a bit.


Using my trusty Cuisinart electric ice cream freezer within 20 minutes it was ready. You can eat immediately as a softer-serve or keep in the refrigerator freezer for a more hard-frozen version.


Pretty bowl of Pears.

photo 1

I love this song….”3 Pears” lyrics by Dwight Yoakam

Vanilla Bean-Pear Ice Cream

  • Servings: 6
  • Print



  • 1 cup each – cold milk & cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup vanilla sugar (see below for how to make your own)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split & seeds scraped out
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • 5 small ripe pears, peeled, cored & chopped


  1. In a glass pitcher whisk together cold milk & cream, vanilla sugar, vanilla bean seeds, pinch of salt & orange zest. Whisk until the sugar has almost dissolved.
  2. Pour milk-cream mixture into an electric ice cream freezer & process according to the machine directions. Halfway through the freezing process, add the chopped fresh pears & continue to process until mixture is frozen.
  3. Store pear ice cream in your refrigerator freezer until ready to serve. If you serve immediately you will have a softer serve ice cream.

Note on how to make Vanilla Sugar:

Place 2 cups of white or raw sugar in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Split two vanilla beans with a knife & put in the jar with the sugar. Add lid and shake jar a few time. Store for 2 weeks before using. When your jar of sugar gets low, just add some more to the vanilla beans in the jar.

Recipe by Teresa Blackburn      teresablackburnfoodstyling.com   foodonfifth.com

49 thoughts on ““Vanilla Bean-Pear Ice Cream”

  1. I have never ever had pear ice cream!! It sounds absolutely lovely with the vanilla bean especially! Still don’t have an ice cream maker but we’ll be moving soon I hope. Hopefully the kitchen will be bigger than 1 m² and I’ll get it first thing so I’ll be able to try this next year!
    An accidental pear tree is a wonderful thing! Accidental incidents that lead to delicious ice cream? Even better!
    Oh, and your pictures are awesome as always, Teresa! 🙂 Have a lovely day full of pear ice cream!

    1. Thanks Tina for your lovely comments as always. I had never had pear ice cream either until I made it yesterday! I loved the combination of flavors…this was indeed a happy accident.

  2. Wow!!! I’ve never had pear ice cream!! It sounds superb Teresa!!! Absolutely love this!! Sadly, I don’t have an ice cream maker…sob. I will just have to imagine the remarkable taste of these two great flavours!!! 👌😊

  3. I would never think of this combo, but it sounds fantastic, especially for the summertime. We have an icecream maker that we probably bring out once a year; however, I am determined to use it more often, and this might just be the push I need to do so.

  4. I love ice cream and this recipe looks fantastic . Using juicy and flavorful pears is a great idea. As soon as my vanilla sugar is ready I will make this ice cream. Thank you for the recipe.
    The pears look absolutely delicious , I would love to have some.

  5. This sounds so amazing! I’m from British Columbia and our local pears are just coming into season this month – and they stay until December. Lot’s of opportunities to try this recipe out;)

    1. Melanie it has been a bit odd this year here in Tennessee…we do not usually have ripe pears until later in the summer and early fall. But my “accidental pear tree” started early and they are all ripe right now!

  6. Look at those pears…the ones in our orchard won’t be ripe for weeks. What a great idea to use them in ice cream…it has to be delicious.

    1. Karen, it is a bit odd, but all the pears are ripe on my tree in early August. It is usually late August and early September at the earliest so I am not sure what is going on, but this season they are the best they have ever been. I hope your pears are wonderful as well. I had so many I had to try lots of recipes…ice cream…why not? Everyone who has tried it has just loved it. Thanks as usual Karen for coming by.

  7. Oh, for a pear tree. Accidental or not. When we bought our property 20+ years ago, we planted all manner of fruit trees, only to see the deer mow them down almost immediately. I often think about that orchard that wasn’t to be. What a lovely idea for an ice cream.

    1. Michelle thank you very much for stopping by. The pear flavor of this ice cream is very subtle and just wonderful combined with the vanilla bean seeds. A surprisingly perfect pairing!

  8. An accidental SICKEL pear tree? You are blessed, Teresa! Love pears, especially Sickels, and this was a brilliant use for them. I would drizzle salted caramel sauce on top! Can’t wait to see how else you transform the bounty! Gorgeous, seductive photos as well! Love your blog!

  9. What a beautiful blog. I’m so glad you stopped in this morning (thank you) and spiked my curiosity (who’s Teresa Blackburn?). Vanilla bean-pear ice cream sounds fantastic. I’m going to take a look at some of your other gorgeous posts…

  10. wow, looks delicious, never had pear ice cream before, tempting to try!!!
    my mom used to strain the vanilla bean with fine cheese cloth first before put in in any dessert since i didn’t like the gritty seed texture

      1. You can use full fat yogurt, whole milk, half & half or real cream of course…just make sure everything is cold when you begin. Let me know how it turns out for you. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. WOW – I found your Balsamic and Brown Sugar Peach Frozen Yogurt in a Magazine – they were kind enough to post your blog site – THANK YOU – bought myself a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. Thank you so much the recipe was wonderful – I made it with my homemade Greek Yogurt from my Jersey cow Daisy’s rich milk. I am going to try the pear next – I also love the Cuisinart ice cream maker.


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