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Sexy Poached Pears With Blackberries and Almond Ice Cream

The quick almond ice cream is a must to make. It's what really ties this flirtatious dessert altogether. You can prepare it a day or two ahead.
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2016-02-13-1455383804-5358257-finalshot.jpgThis classic pear dessert is absolutely fabulous. Poached pears are simple to make and will be a cute sexy surprise for your valentine. The pears are gently poached in a sweetened blackberry sauce and left to cook until these voluptuous pears are succulent and just fork tender. Also, this recipe is child friendly, since there is no alcohol added to the poaching liquid and just a wee bit to the pastry cream, which is optional. Therefore, you can share this luscious dessert with the little cupids in your life, too.

The quick almond ice cream is a must to make. It's what really ties this flirtatious dessert altogether. You can prepare it a day or two ahead. Most importantly, it will aid Cupid in making a most loving impression on your valentine's heart.

Sexy Poached Pears with Blackberries and Almond Ice Cream
(serves 4)

Ingredients:

Pears in Blackberry Sauce

  • 4 large pears ( I suggest Bartlett)
  • 10 0z/280 g blackberries, black currants or mixed berries (frozen is okay)
  • 27 fl oz/700 ml water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 oz / 140 g granulated sugar
  • Fresh berries and mint for garnish

Almond Ice Cream (serves 4-8)

  • 10 fl oz/300g Crème Anglaise (recipe below)
  • 7 fl oz/ 200 ml heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch ( optional)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon almond extract ( flavor to your taste)

Procedure: Crème Anglaise

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2.5 oz / 75 g sugar
  • 17 fl oz / 500 ml whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

2016-02-13-1455384281-96982-DSC_0119.JPGAdd the yolks and sugar to a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
Whisk vigorously to obtain a light creamy ribbon constancy. Put the milk and scraped vanilla bean in a heavy-based sauce pot (if using vanilla extract, add it later). Heat the milk slowly. The milk should boil slightly and rise up in the pot. Remove the pot from the stove. Then temper the eggs by slowly pouring about a cup of the hot milk over the yolks whisking the entire time.

Now slowly pour the tempered eggs back into the milk whisking constantly.

2016-02-13-1455384402-5312055-DSC_0139.JPGReturn the saucepan to the stove and heat over a medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, constantly stir the milk/egg mixture. DO NOT BOIL! Keep stirring constantly and thoroughly to keep the mixture from sticking on the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the mixture is nappe (coats the back of the wooden spoon with out running off) remove from the heat and strain. Let the mixture cool, then cover and place in the refrigerator until cold.

Making the Ice Cream:

Set your ice cream maker container in the freezer for at least 24 hours before churning this ice cream. Remove the Crème Anglaise from the refrigerator. Add it to a bowl and mix it with the heavy cream.Flavor with a few drops of almond extract and the kirsch if using. Churn the mixture for 15 minutes or until the ice cream becomes a nice soft creamy consistency. Remove to a container and place in the freezer for a least 20 minutes before serving.

PEARS:

Peeling and Coring:

2016-02-13-1455384711-1558119-DSC_0087Copy.JPG Peel the pears very carefully. Peeling as close to the contour of the pear as possible. Try your best to remove only the skin and as little pear as possible. Remove the core of the pear carefully by using an apple corer. This step is optional, but it does help to create a much sexier end result when eating the pear. Carefully insert the corer in through the bottom of the pear, pressing about 3/4 the way in. Then slowly twist the pear and pull out the center core as much as possible.

Conversely you can also use a curved vegetable peeler or the small end of a Parisian (ball scoop) to remove the core as well. If not making immediately, reserve the pears in a container large enough to cover them with water and the juice of half a lemon (seeds removed), cover and place in the refrigerator.

Poaching the Pears in the Blackberry Sauce

2016-02-13-1455384888-7224896-DSC_0098.JPGAdd the berries, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon stick and water to a heavy gauged sauce pot. Carefully add the pears. Cover the pot and slowly bring to a simmer. Make sure that they are entirely submerged. If not, place a piece of parchment paper, then a small plate on top so that they stay submerged while poaching. Cook the pears in the poaching liquid, turning occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes or until pears are fork tender. Carefully remove the pears with a slotted spoon. Reserve them in a bowl.

Blackberry Sauce

Remove the cinnamon stick, then blend the sauce and adjust sweetness if necessary. Strain the sauce and pour over the pears to store and allow to cool completely. Then place covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To Plate:

2016-02-13-1455384993-663556-spoonshot.jpg
  • Place a pear on one side of a flat soup bowl.
  • Spoon the sauce over and around the pear.
  • Add a quenelle of the almond ice cream or one medium-sized scoop next to the pear.
  • Place a few fresh berries decoratively around the pear and garnish with a sprig of mint dusted with powdered sugar.

Now - sit back, enjoy and watch Cupid's arrow fly!