This was such a favourite from my recent Somerset Pop-Up restaurant, I just had to make the recipe available! Make the most of sweet and juicy pears with this grown up take on Pears and Chocolate.
Ingredients for the Mead Poached Pears...
1 x Bottle of Honey Mead
4 x Williams Pears peeled
Juice & Zest of 1 large orange
Pinch of Saffron
1 x cinnamon stick
5 black peppercorns
To develop more flavour, make the pears the day before you are going to serve them.
Put the mead, orange, spices and water into a pan and bring to the boil. Turn down and add the peeled pears. Cover with a circle of greaseproof paper and a lid. Simmer gently until pears are tender and soft - but not falling apart.
Once cooked remove the pears. Reduce the poaching liquid by bringing to a boil and simmering until you have a syrup. Leave the liquid to cool and pour over the pears. Cover and keep in the fridge.
Next make the Salted Almond Icecream
Ingredients for the Salted Almond Ice Cream...
1/2 litre of double cream
1/2 litre of full fat milk
12 egg yolks
250ml caster sugar
200gms whole almonds
10gms Maldon sea salt
Start by making the salted almonds. Put the almonds on a baking tray and sprinkle with the salt. Roast in an oven (180degrees) until the nuts are golden brown but not burnt!
Now make a traditional custard by whisking the egg yolks with the sugar and beating until pale and fluffy. Heat the milk and cream until they come to the boil. Add a little of the hot milk and cream to the eggs and whisk in. Add a little more and whisk again. Tip the egg mix back into the pan with the rest of the cream and heat up - whisk all the time - make sure you get to the bottom of the pan so that you don't end up with scrambled egg on the bottom of the pan. Continue to whisk over the heat until the mix reaches 72 degrees (or until it coats the back of a spoon if you don't have a thermometer). Remove from the heat and mix with the almonds and salt. Blend everything together - in a blender or using a hand blender. Cover and leave the mix to infuse for about 20 - 30 mins. The longer you infuse, the stronger the flavour. Keep tasting and when you are happy with the flavour pass the mix through a fine sieve to remove the almonds bits. Leave the mix to cool and churn in an ice cream machine. When it's ready place in the freezer and remove about 10-15mins before you are ready to serve.
Ingredients for the Almond Brittle...
40gms Caster Sugar
30gms liquid Glucose
45gms Whole Almonds
Small knob of butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
14 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
Bring the caster, glucose and water to a boil to dissolve the sugar (until it reaches 115 degrees). Turn down heat and add the almonds then turn up the heat until it reaches 150 degrees. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with a silocone mat and leave to cool and harden up. Blitz some of this in a food processor to a crumb. Smash the rest of it into bite sized pieces. It will keep in a tin for a few days but will start to go sticky after a few days.
Next make the chocolate sauce - this is rich and delicious.
Ingredients for the Chocolate Sauce...
225ml Double Cream
200g Dark Chocolate (as better quality as you can find)
Shot of Booze! Amaretto is ideal
Start by making a sugar syrup using equal quantities of sugar and water - use 50ml of each. Bring this mix to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar and remove from the heat.
Take 200gms dark chocolate - either pistols or break up into pieces. Place in a glass bowl and add 225ml double cream. Put a pan of water on the hob and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl of chocolate and cream over and stir until the chocolate has melted. DON'T let the water touch the chocolate in the bottom of the bowl or it will ruin the chocolate. Once melted add the sugar syrup. At this point you could also add a shot of booze - ideally something almondy like Amaretto. Keep the sauce hot.
Serve the pears in syrup at room temperature, sprinkle over some blitzed almond brittle, the hot chocolate sauce poured over and the cold ice cream with a piece of almond brittle on the side for some crunch.
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