The Claude Troisgros Pear, Pear, Pear

I don’t remember why I named this after Claude, but probably because he invented it. I certainly didn’t, but now I don’t know if I have changed the original or not.

It is better (more refined at least) than the green apple sorbet doused with Calvados that they serve at La Coupole in Paris, but only just.

The best white pear brandy that I know is made by Etter in Switzerland.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe Comice pears, peeled, peelings saved
  • ½ cup light sugar syrup
  • ¼ cup finest white pear brandy
  • 1 cup pear sorbet (see as for white peach ice)
  • pinch salt
  • ¼ cup pink rose petals, shredded

Method

Put the peelings in the syrup and simmer in a small nonreactive saucepan for 20 minutes. Strain into a bowl and chill the syrup.

Cut the pears in half lengthwise, remove the cores and stems, and slice them inch thick along the length of the halves. Stir 2 tablespoons of the brandy and the salt into the chilled syrup. Add the pear slices, cover, and chill for 30 mintutes.

Put a scoop of the ice in the center of four large shallow soup plates. Spoon the pears around, and pour the remaining brandy over the pears. Garnish with the rose petals.

Variations

Try poaching the pears in Muscat wine and serving them with cardamom-flavored ricotta (1 teaspoon ground cardamom per cup of ricotta). At an AMFAR benefit in Napa Valley in 1998, I served these pears with creamed blue cheese in the center of the plate, some chestnut honey poured over the cheese, and a black Muscat sorbet on top of that.

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