Friday, March 18, 2005
Caramel is mentioned in La Varenne's The French Cook, Englished in 1653, so it is time that I add this technique to my repertoire. I have some winter pears that will do nicely as a glacé or sorbet, as well.
Peel and core 1.5 pounds Comice pears and cut into rough slices. Cook in a small amount of boiling water until slices are translucent. Drain and puree cooked pears; stir in 3/4 cup sugar while the puree is still warm. Chill mixture and once cooled, add a few drops of Armagnac or brandy. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to instructions.
To make the caramel sauce, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Boil for a good 10 minutes or until sugar starts to caramelize. Turn heat down and, stirring constantly, continue to cook until sauce becomes a deep, rich caramel color. Quickly add 1/4 cup heavy cream and stand back, as mixture will splatter. Then stir caramel sauce again until smooth.
To assemble, place three scoops of pear sorbet into a dish or tuile cup, ladle warm caramel sauce over the sorbet and top with chopped, toasted walnuts. Serves 4. I added a curl of lemon zest as a garnish.
Debbie at Words to Eat By chose caramel as this month's Sugar High Friday.
Sorbet & Caramel Recipe: W, February 10-17, 1986, p. 48.