Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Scream...

A few years ago, I purchased a Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart automatic ice cream maker. I think I was pregnant and craving all sorts of naughty, fattening foods. Hello chili cheese fries. I justified it by considering ice cream part of my calcium intake. Good for building babies! Well, a few years and many creamy concoctions later I have to say I am really glad I invested in it (actually at less than $50 it is hardly an investment). I keep the chilling chamber in the freezer at all times so that I can make ice cream on a whim. It takes less than half an hour to whip up a batch and the flavor options are endless. Of course we all go through those times where our jeans seem a little tighter than usual. That's when you make the switch to making sorbet instead. Lemon sorbet on a hot day is perfection! Now that I have kids it makes even more sense to have one. Bottom love ice cream. Making it from scratch together is a great activity. They love using the electric hand mixer to dissolve the sugar into the milk. Then are mesmerized by the spinning magic machine that turns milk into frozen goodness. You know exactly what ingredients are going into it. Oh and it's damn good! There have been several occasions where I've even brought a container of it to a dinner party. The other guests will go crazy over it especially when they find out that you made it at home. I usually just make the simple vanilla ice cream. Milk, cream, sugar and vanilla are the only ingredients you need so as long as you use the best quality ingredients, it will turn out great.

So today I found some pears in the fridge that needed to be eaten ASAP. They weren't spoiled by any means but had definitely been around long enough. I had a bottle of muscat that my mother in law had brought over last week that we forgot to drink. The answer was obvious...poached pears. I quickly made a container of vanilla ice cream and put it into the freezer. Then I brought two cups of the muscat (any sweet wine will do) to a simmer with half a cup of sugar, some ribbons of lemon zest, a few dashes of cinnamon and about a teaspoon of grated ginger. I added the four pears that I had quartered and cored. Depending on the firmness of the pears I would say poach them in the liquid on a very low simmer ten minutes for a harder pear and of course less time for a softer pear. I wouldn't even bother doing this with extremely ripe ones. Mush city! Remove the fruit after you are done poaching and put them aside. Reduce the rest of the liquid for a few more minutes until it is thick and syrupy. Strain out the pieces of lemon and ginger and set aside to cool. Now when it is time for dessert, you just arrange the pears nicely on a dessert plate or shallow bowl, scoop on some ice cream and drizzle with a little of the wine reduction. See, I totally eat fruit.


  1. I have had this machine since we got married 6 years ago. It really is the gold standard now and everybody should have it. I recommend owning two of the "chill bowls" as well which allows you to make bigger batches or two different flavors, since it takes over 24 hours to re-freeze the bowl each time. One of my recent faves was cake batter - basic vanilla ice cream recipe plus a little cake batter poured in at the very end. Just make a little basic white vanilla cake batter. It doesn't take a lot so you can just make cupcakes out of the leftover batter. Some people also like to add in frosting and/or sprinkles but I prefer it plain and pure. Your pears/moscato sounds great too. Nice work.

  2. I just noticed you commented on this! Love the cake batter tip, Jay. Thanks for the input, it's awesome.