Here’s a gorgeous, velvety ice cream that captures the rich sweetness of sun-dried fruit. I began my experiments on this dish remembering the intense, luscious flavor of Japanese dried persimmons, which aren’t readily available in the United States. Since California dried pears seemed to have a similar richness, particularly when simmered in plum wine, I decided to make use of them. I think this Pear Ice Cream stands well on its own or as an ending to any meal.
In a noncorrodible saucepan combine the dried pears, water, and plum wine. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, then adjust to maintain a steady simmer.
Add the lemon juice and continue to cook for 10 minutes; the fruit will plump but pale considerably around the edges.
Puree the mixture until completely smooth, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pour the pureed pear mixture into two metal ice-cube trays (with the dividers removed) and cover the surface with clear plastic wrap. Freeze until quite firm. Empty the pear slush into your food processor with the cream and pulse-process until thick and smooth. Return the mixture to the metal trays, cover again with clear plastic wrap, and freeze until solid. If you have an ice-cream maker, add the cream to the pureed pear mixture from the start and blend thoroughly. Place the pear and cream mixture in your machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions for any fruit puree.
To serve, scoop out the ice cream into chilled glass or ceramic bowls. If the ice cream seems too stiff to scoop easily, let it rest in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes first.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.