When I had some friends around for dinner in January, I wanted to focus the meal using seasonal ingredients. One of the ones currently in season (in January) at least, are pears, so the weekend before I ended up at the Islington Farmer’s market.
The wonderful thing about the farmers markets is that you end up with some really fresh fruits and vegetables, and even though they don’t look like the perfectly polished wax-ware you might find in your typical supermarket, the taste is like nothing you can believe. At the stand that I purchased them from, they even had four varieties of pears on offer, some better for cooking retaining their shape, others better for reducing down into sauces, and others that were best for eating fresh, remaining crisp.
Inspired by the fact that I had, indeed, bought some really fresh fruits, I wanted to make a pear and honey sorbet. I couldn’t really find any recipes on the internet, so I made one up myself.
Here’s the one that I used:
- 1.5 kg pears
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- squeeze of half a lemon
- tablespoon of vodka
Put the honey, sugar, lemon and water in a saucepan and heat using a low heat until the sugar has melted. In the meantime, peel the pears, taking out the core and seeds, and then slice them so they all sit underneath the liquid. I substituted honey instead of sugar to add a different dimension of sweetness. I added the lemon because I didn’t want the pears to brown too quickly. Poach the pears until you can stick a fork through them without too much resistance.
Cool the mixture down, and add the vodka. I don’t know if the vodka had much effect, but I hoped that it would mean that the sorbet didn’t freeze too hard.
After the mixture is cooled down, using a blender (I used a stab blender), puree the mix until you achieve the same sort of consistency. I guess you could choose to them pass it through a sieve if you want the pear juice/nectar but I think it’s quite nice to have some texture in the sorbet.
Freeze in an ice cream maker and you’re done!
How did it turn out? I served the sorbet with a pear crumble and it went down a treat. The honey certainly added depth to the sorbet, although I think I would change the ratio of honey to sugar next time to further accentuate the flavours of the pear.