Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Number 19: Vanilla ice cream and roasted pear


did say I would be doing breakfast foods - and I did! But I made two dishes today and I'm a little lazy. Two posts a day is a lot! So vanilla ice cream and roasted pear it- yum!

I have a love-hate relationship with brown sugar. I love the caramel taste it gives to dishes, but really? Must it turn into rock whenever I put it away
? It bent my measuring spoons.

Interestingly enough, I found a book titled "The Best Kitchen Quick Tips" in my mother's library - my mother has everything. Under "Brown Sugar" I found "Softening" which instructs us to place a cup of brown sugar in a glass plate or bowl, cover with a small piece of waxed paper, top with a slice of bread and zap it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Apparently the bread supplies moisture.

Cool. Didn't do it because my brown sugar was stuck in the box, but I'll definitely try it next time. In the meantime, I loosened the sugar using a chopstick like a pick. Fun stuff.

Sorry if that seemed random, but the recipe calls for quite a lot of brown sugar so it's relevant!

Speaking of the recipe. Vanilla ice cream and roasted pear. Ahhh it's so perfectly paired. I've wanted to try roasting pears ever since I ate at a tapas place in Evanston (Tapas Barcelona), where they had this amazing dessert (another one) with a roasted pear stuffed with white chocolate and served with vanilla bean ice cream. And I was going to be legit and make vanilla bean ice cream, but vanilla beans are so expensive and the cheapest place is Williams-Sonoma some 20 miles away. And I hate driving.

So vanilla extract it is. But still. It turned out good. Even my mother liked it!

Also, as you'll note in the picture, I attempted at making a caramelized almond crust (inspired by a semi-okay dessert at El Torito) but that didn't work out. So here's the recipe for the ice cream and pear (adapted from Tartelette and allrecipes.com, respectively). I'll come back to the caramelized almonds someday - anyone have a recipe?

Vanilla ice cream
with roasted pear
For the ice cream:
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 egg yolks
2 tspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

For the pears:

2 bosc pears
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
dash of cinnamon (or to taste)

To make the ice cream:

1. Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and heat until it's steaming
2. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, vanilla and sugar
3. Temper egg mixture with the hot cream, pouring a couple tablespoons into the egg mixture and whisking vigorously. Gradually add the rest of the cream into the eggs, mixing continuously
4. Return to saucepan and cook, stirring continuously until the mixture coats the back of a spoon
5. Strain into a clean bowl in an ice bath. Continue stirring until it reaches room temperature.
6. Cover with plastic wrap so it touches the surface of the custard sauce. This prevents a skin from forming.
7. Refrigerate overnight and process in an ice cream maker to manufacturer's instructions.

To make the pears:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Peel, halve and core the pears
3. Place the butter on the baking sheet and put it in the oven until it melts.
4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle brown sugar on top of the melted butter.
5. Drizzle cinnamon on top
6. Place the pears cut side down on the sugar/butter mixture
7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until barely soft

8. Sprinkle a little more sugar and cinnamon on top, or if the sugar isn't burnt, turn the pears and baste in pan sauce
9. Bake until tender and glossy, about another 15 minutes or so
10. Cool before serving with ice cream

P.S. Stick a cinnamon stick in the vanilla ice cream while soft, let it firm for a couple hours or overnight, and voila! Cinnamon ice cream. Although the vanilla is still much stronger.

And now, food talk. Breakfast-related. This is what I will miss while in Chicago:

Obviously I'm not going to miss bagels because Chicago has bagels - although the Einstein Bros Bagels near school is mad expensive.

But this is my favorite bagel, and Einstein doesn't have it. The rosemary olive oil bagel from the Clearwater Bagel Co in my hometown Walnut (I think there's others somewhere). Anyway, this bagel is the reason why I learned how to make rosemary oil bread, and not surprisingly, the picture doesn't do it justice. I loooooooove this bagel. Especially with Earl Grey tea.

Okay enough raving. Just thought I'd put it out there in case anybody finds rosemary olive oil bagels in the Chicago area.

Happy eating!

1 comment:

Gala said...

The caramelized almond crust actually looks pretty good.

About the hard sugar, I keep a moist clay piece is mine, it could be a lid of something or just a broken piece of clay, I even found this tip on the web:

Buy a clay disc or if you have a pottery piece on hand (from a broken clay pot, etc.), set it in water for about 30 minutes. Dry the piece so it isn’t dripping wet. Put the clay piece in a container with the sugar and seal. Check after a few days. Keep the piece in with your sugar for months if you’d like–will keep it soft.