One of the few cook-book writers that mum and I both love is Nigel Slater. In general, she finds my tastes a little too avant-garde while I find hers veering on the tedious side of classic. She was not on-board when I was going through my Rachel Khoo phase, and I think she's still on the fence about Ottolenghi (but I plan to win her over by making this).
Nigel Slater, however, with his no-nonsense yet ingenious recipes appeals to both our sensibilities. While brainstorming ideas on what to blog about next, I remembered a poached pear recipe that I'd once tried and loved, and I thought that it would make for a great dessert with cardamom whipped cream. A little bit of back and forth and we settled on cardamom ice-cream instead, and what followed was one of the best desserts we've made together. It took every bit of will power not to shout about it from the rooftop (and by rooftop I mean facebook). It's familiar flavours in an unlikely tryst and what results is a dessert that both delights and comforts. Be sure to make the sauce, it ties the flavours together in a neat little bow.
Note: You will ofcourse, have to make the ice-cream at least the day before you plan to serve it.
Cardamom Ice-cream with Honeyed Pears
For the Cardamom Ice-cream
1 cup full-fat milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup cream
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ cup sugar, or to taste
1 tsp cardamom powder (or 10 small pods, powdered)
Heat the milk, evaporated milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and cardamom together in a pan on a medium flame, stirring constantly until thick and coats the back of a spoon. Do NOT let it come to a boil.
Pour into a shallow dish and pat cling-film onto the top of the custard (to prevent a skin forming). Refrigerate.
Whip the cream till it thickens, and mix into the cold custard.
Pour into a freezer proof container and freeze for about an hour.
After an hour, use a fork to stir the mixture, to break up any ice crystals. Repeat this twice more, and then leave to freeze until firm.
Alternatively, pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn as directed.
For the Honeyed Pears
(adapted from Nigel Slater's Tender Vol. III)
4 plump, ripe pears (peeled)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
4 cups water
1 vanilla bean, split
Cut the pears in half, core and remove the stem.
Add all the ingredients to a heavy bottom pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes, until fork-tender.
Transfer the pears to a plate to cool. Meanwhile, take 1 cup of the poaching liquid and boil till reduced to half the quantity, or thick and syrupy.
Place a slice of pear in individual bowls. Add a scoop of ice-cream and drizzle a spoonful of the syrup over it. Enjoy!