Six of the juiciest pears that I’ve seen in a long time were just sitting there on my counter. I love pears, and I just about could have sat there and eaten all six. But, then I had a brain storm. As much as I love pears, I really love pear gelato. It’s my weakness. (OK, it’s one of my many weaknesses). Ideally, pear gelato with just a touch of dark chocolate. This weakness started many years ago when I first discovered Trader Joe’s. They had this frozen Prince William Pear frozen dessert with this dark chocolate leaf. It was only in stores for about 9 months, and I must have eaten a dozen of them. Since then, I’ve kept my eye out for it or something similar, but have yet to find it. These six pears, at the peak of ripeness, would satisfy my craving in a homemade pear gelato.
Makes about 2 pints
6 pears, trimmed and cored
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 t vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
Using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the peel of the pear into a medium bowl preserving all the juice. Stir in the lemon juice, mashing up any larger pieces of pear. Set aside.
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, bring cream and vanilla beans to a boil over medium heat.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat sugar and eggs. Mix in a bit of the hot cream mixture. Then, slowly pour the egg mixture back into cream mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until mixture coats the back of a spoon (do not boil, or it will curdle). Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 or 10 minutes. Then, stir in the pear mixture and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
Once good and cool, transfer to your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Dark Chocolate Phyllo Cookie
8 to 10 sheets of 8×8 phyllo
1/2 cup high quality dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment. Brush a sheet of phyllo with butter and lay it butter side down on the parchment. Then, brush the top, from the inside of the sheet out to the edges. Add another sheet of phyllo and brush lightly with butter. Repeat with the remaining sheets. With the top sheet, give the edges a bit of an extra coating.
Cover with another sheet of parchment paper, and top with another baking sheet (this will help the phyllo to stay flat). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s golden brown. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Then, cut into strips or any desired shapes (triangles make nice cookies too).
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the chocolate until just melted, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. Remove from heat. Using a pastry brush, coat the tops of the phyllo strips with a thin layer of chocolate. Allow it to set, at room temperature, or in the refrigerator.