Terra di Toscana www.terraditoscana.com

Amaretto Poached Pear Gelato

Serve this creamy pear gelato with a little glass of the delicate, but nutty amaretto liqueur.

6 pears, peeled, halved, and cored
2 cups pear or apple juice
1 cup Amaretto di Saronno
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts

In a large saucepan, combine the pear or apple juice, the Amaretto di Saronno, and the sugar. Over medium heat, warm the mixture, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the pears and poach for 35 to 40 minutes until tender, but not falling apart. Remove the pears to cool; continue reducing the cooking liquid for 20 minutes longer, until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan, scald the milk with a pinch of salt. Keep warm.
In a blender, beat the sugar and egg yolks together until very thick. With the blender running, add the hot milk slowly so that the eggs don't curdle.
When the milk has been incorporated, transfer the mixture back to the saucepan.
Cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and place it in a cold water bath. Stir 2 minutes to stop the cooking and cool the mixture. Chill thoroughly.
When mixture has completely cooled, combine it with six of the cooked pear halves in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a chilled ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.
To serve, arrange a pear half on each plate. Scoop the gelato on top, spoon some of the reduced cooking liquid over, and garnish with chopped hazelnuts.
Serves 6

Picture by Joyce Dudkerk-Pool


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