Cream Baked Cardamom-Vanilla Bean Pears

 

Pears in poetry, pears in art, pears in history, pears in life. Quintessentially feminine and delicious. Luscious when ripe and baked in cream, pears dusted with sugar, cardamom and vanilla. A simple plate of goodness.

Pears from our pear tree last summer. The tree is already heavy with young, thumb size fruit. The anticipation is dreamy.

Cut, cored and peeled. Baked.

Warm from the oven I can think of few things I like better than the first bite. Market pears will do until fall.

Cream-Baked Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Pears

Ingredients:

  • 4 small ripe, but firm pears, peeled, cut in half and cored
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, room temp, divided
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • beans scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Smear bottom of a pie dish with 2 Tablespoons of the butter. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoons raw sugar.
  3. Mix together in a small bowl the remaining raw sugar, the cardamom and vanilla beans.
  4. Place pear halves, cut side down, in the bottom of the pie dish.
  5. Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons butter and brush over the pears. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
  6. Gently pour heavy cream around the pears. Place dish in the oven.
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until pears are just tender and the cream has thickened.  Remove dish from oven to cool on a wire rack. Serve pears and cream warm or at room temperature.

Teresa Blackburn   www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

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“Vanilla Bean-Pear Ice Cream”

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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”

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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Pretty bowl of Pears.

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

Vanilla Bean-Pear Ice Cream

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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