As a baker, I am constantly striving to challenge myself and try new things. I started off baking pie recipes handed down to me through my Grandmother because I felt that someone in our family needed to keep the tradition of amazing pies going! I then branched out to my family’s Christmas cookie recipes and cakes/cupcakes. I only ever truly failed once, on a pineapple upside-down cake for the first of the boyfriend’s birthdays that we celebrated together. (I’ll tell the story one day, I promise. It’s quite amusing! I may even be able to find a failure picture…)
But failure is just an opportunity for growth and learning, and I “redeemed” myself the following birthday with an amazing pineapple upside-down cake! Since then, I’ve tackled cheesecakes, ice cream, caramel, bread pudding, and french toast! With this recipe, I can add poaching fruit to my repertoire. 🙂
I made this recipe a few weeks ago, during Hurricane Sandy. I found it slightly humorous that a hurricane was on its way to the East Coast, and I was making ice cream… But I really wanted to test out my recipe before the crunch of the holidays hit me. (Part of that was in case I needed to do a few iterations before perfecting my recipe…) But I think it turned out amazing! And the boyfriend and I finished the pears and the ice cream before we had to go back to work after Sandy!
I absolutely love this recipe! The addition of the brie to the ice cream base makes it super creamy and very rich, without over-powering the taste. The pears provide an interesting texture contrast (just be sure not to over-cook them, or else they will be mushy). And the best part is the sweet and spicy taste of the red wine sauce with the creamy and slightly salty taste of the brie ice cream. The two pair (no pun intended 😉 ) beautifully!
Click below for the recipe! Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments below! And thanks for reading! 🙂
Pears in Red Wine with Brie Ice Cream
Yield: 6 servings
For the pears, you will need:
- 3 Bosc pears
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- Zest of half of an orange (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 whole allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the brie ice cream, you will need:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Pinch salt
- 8 ounces brie cheese
You are also going to need:
- Wire whisk
- Large sized bowl
- Medium sauce pan
- Large sauce pan
- Wooden spoon
- Mesh strainer
- Ice cream maker
- Plastic freezer-safe container
First, make the ice cream base. (You want to start this the night before because you will need to fully chill the ice cream mixture before freezing it.)
Place the egg yolks in to a medium bowl. Add the sugar to the egg yolks, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Heat until just below simmering, when little bubbles begin to form along the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat.
Next, temper the egg yolks. (This is done to make sure that the egg yolks do not cook and curdle in the ice cream base.) Slowly, add about 1/2-cup of the hot milk to the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
Add the egg yolks, whisking slowly, back in to the cream and milk mixture. Heat the mixture, being careful not to boil, until it begins to thicken into a custard.
To test the custard for done-ness, dip the back of the spoon in to the mixture, and run your finger along the liquid. If the line holds, the custard is done.
Remove the custard from the heat. Pour the custard through a mesh strainer set over a large bowl. The mesh strainer will catch any stray pieces of cooked egg.
Remove the rind from the brie, and cut the cheese (hehe) in to small cubes. Melt the cheese in the warm custard mixture, and stir to combine.
Let the custard mixture cool for about one hour at room temperature, stirring occasionally. Cover the ice cream mixture, and refrigerate until completely cold, at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.
The next day, remove the ice cream mixture from the refrigerator, and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
When your ice cream maker is done churning, scrape the ice cream in to a freezer-safe plastic container. (The ice cream will be at a soft-serve consistency.) Freeze for a few hours to harden the ice cream.
Quick tip: do not freeze your ice cream in the bowl of your ice cream maker. Serving it directly from the ice cream maker bowl will likely scratch and damage the bowl. Always transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, and then wash the ice cream maker bowl in warm (not hot!) soapy water. Never place the bowl in the dishwasher!
While the ice cream is freezing, prepare the pears.
Pour the red wine, water, sugar, and orange juice in a large sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, and then add the cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Peel the pears, and cut them in half. Remove the stem and core.
Add the pears to the poaching liquid (the liquid should cover the pears), and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until the pears are tender.
Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and set aside.
Boil the poaching liquid until it reduces to about 1 cup (about 30 minutes). Return the pears to the poaching liquid, and let sit for at least 20 minutes.
At this point, the pears can sit until ready to serve. If they will sit for longer than 20 minutes, place the pears and the poaching liquid in the fridge. Serve within the next day or so.
To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer, and let warm slightly at room temperature, for about 10 minutes. Serve with one poached pear, drizzled with the reduced poaching liquid. Enjoy!