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.
Vanilla Bean-Pear Ice Cream
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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