I made this Pear Sorbet for our recent Cook Club as we were celebrating not only two Birthdays(!) but 5 Years of Cook Club! It's quite an achievement considering in those past 5 years we have seen 1 Wedding, 2 New Houses, New Jobs and Promotions and the Birth of 5 babies!! That's a busy 5 years for the 6 of us but we still manage to make Cook Club a regular event and always have such a great time catching up over good food and wine.
I served this Pear Sorbet as a palate cleanser between courses and it was a hit. The flavour of the pear is matched perfectly with vanilla and crisp Sauvignon Blanc, making it so delicate yet really flavourful and elegant. You could serve it as a did or it would make a wonderful light dessert for finishing off a heavy meal over Christmas. It is really simple to make especially if you have an ice cream maker.
This recipe is courtesy of Thomas Keller and his book Bouchon and I honestly wouldn't change a thing! The finishing touch of edible gold and silver leaf isn't in the recipe but for a special occasion (such as an elegant Christmas or New Year Meal) I couldn't resist. If you have some certainly use it but don't go out of your way to buy some especially – unless you are really trying to impress!
Makes enough to serve 8-10
1 ¾ lbs (about 3) ripe Red Comice Pears*
1 cup/250ml Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup/250ml Water
¾ cup Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean, Split
To serve: Edible Gold and/or Silver leaf (optional)
Peel the pears then cut them in half lengthwise and remove the core and seeds ( a teaspoon works well for that).
In a large pan add the wine, water and sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the pan along with the whole pod. Mix everything together then add the pears. Bring to a simmer over a medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and continue to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until the pears are really tender (the time will depend on how hard your pears were to start with). Once the pears are tender remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
Once cooled remove the vanilla pod then transfer the pears and the liquid to a blender and blend to a smooth puree. Chill until cold then transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once frozen transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze until needed.
When ready to serve remove from the freezer about 5 minutes before serving then scoop individual servings into nice glasses or bowls. If you have it finish with a light dusting of edible gold and/or silver leaf and enjoy at once.
*I couldn't get Red Comice Pears so instead I used a different type of Red Pear which worked beautifully, so use what you like.