Don’t go away, please – there’s nothing vanilla about this recipe. :D
I have to be honest and tell you that in the past I would have laughed at someone if they told me they loved anything vanilla. Because to me, back then, there was nothing to love. But that was in my pre-blogging days - after tasting the real thing everything changed. I got so hooked on vanilla that after I finish preparing a recipe with the pod I keep smelling my fingertips – that’s a funny thing to see, believe me. :D
To go with this wonderful ice cream (David Lebovitz, who else?), I made some pear wafers, a recipe from my favorite magazine, issue 39.
Vanilla ice cream
from The Perfect Scoop
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
pinch of salt
¾ cup (150g) sugar
1 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
a few drops of vanilla extract
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a paring knife. Add the bean pod to the milk.
Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream, add the vanilla extract and stir well. Rinse the vanilla bean and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping. Chill thoroughly, then remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Makes about 1 quart (950ml)
from Donna Hay magazine
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 sensation pears, thinly sliced*
Preheat the oven to 160ºC/320ºF. Place the sugar on a plate and press the pear slices into it, both sides. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for 15 minutes. Turn and cook for a further 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks until crisp.
Pear wafers can be served with sorbet, ice cream or panna cotta, or on a cheese plate with a strong blue cheese or as a petit four with coffee.
* make sure to use a kind of pear that is dry and won’t release much water – believe me, I tried it with the soft type and a flood of syrup took over my oven. :S
Makes about 12