Monday, April 16, 2012

Ginger Pear Ice Cream

The combination of ginger and pear has been on my mind as of late...blending the two in a creamy base seemed like a no brainer...

The recipe is my own

Yields about 5 cups

The Ingredients:
3 anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, quartered and cored
1 cup water
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup candied ginger, coarsely chopped (optional)

The Process:
Whisk together the water, honey, lemon juice.  In a medium saucepan combine the liquid and the pears.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the pears are tender, about 30 minutes.  Discard liquid and allow the pears to cool.

Once cool, puree approximately two thirds of the pears in a blender.  Finely dice the remaining fruit.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-heat combine the cream, whole milk, salt and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the minced ginger. Bring to a simmer, cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.

Strain the milk into a 2-qt bowl using a sieve lined in cheesecloth  (to remove any ginger fibers).  Stir in the pear puree.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or preferably overnight.

Transfer cream mixture to the ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions.  After about 10 minutes add the diced pear and candied ginger.  Once the ice cream reaches a soft serve consistency (about 20-30 minutes in my ice cream maker) transfer the mixture to a 5-6 cup container and freeze for an additional 2 hours. 

The Review:
I may or may not have accidentally curdled the milk.  It may or may not have inspired other ideas.  You may or may not see an interesting ricotta recipe down the road...

Kitchen mishaps aside...this ice cream turn out pretty well.  The cream MUST be heated with the milk to avoid curdling.  And I knew ginger was acidic.  These things happen.   Given the little mishap, I'm not sure you can lighten this recipe up by using half and half.  You may need the full fat content to prevent such separation.   But you never know...

The ginger flavor was outstanding.  Not to spicy.  Wonderfully warm.  Perhaps a touch too sweet.  The pear, well...I think the pear may have held this ice cream back a bit.  The flavor wasn't very present.  If anything the fruit may have added some nuance to the sweetness of the ice cream.  But none of the flavor.  The puree had the ill effect of making the ice cream slightly grainy as well...I'm not cure if this was due to the fiber in the pears, of the water in the puree crystallizing.  It wasn't a bad mouth feel...but certainly not the creamy concoction I was hoping for. 

Next time around...I'm nixing the fruit and sticking with ginger.  I bet it would be lovely with a bit of candied ginger mixed in...

Oh...and if you ice cream maker instructs you not to fill beyond a certain point, I highly recommend heeding that advice.  Ice cream overflows are not pleasant to clean up!


  1. I also love ginger and pear together! This ice cream sounds great, even with your adjustments!

  2. Ginger and pear are such a fantastic combination. I must try this ice cream next :)

  3. Sounds wonderful! Thanks for the inspiration!