This recipe is from a great book I’m enjoying right now, Cooking for Geeks, and seems like it might be a perfect use for all those extra pears next year! I wish I’d thought to do this instead of the PearBQ sauce!
In a pan, create a simple syrup by bringing to a boil:
1/2 cup (120g) water
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
Once the simple syrup has reached a boil, remove from heat and add:
15 oz (425g = 1 can) pears (if fresh, peel and core them)
1 teaspoon (5g) lemon juice
Purée with an immersion blender, food processor, or standard blender, being careful
not to overfill and thus overflow the container. Transfer to a sorbet maker and churn
until set. If you don’t have a sorbet maker, you can make sorbet’s sister dish, granita,
by freezing the mix in a 9” × 13” / 23 cm × 33 cm glass pan, using a spoon to stir up
the mixture as it sets. Or, see Chapter 7 to learn about using dry ice or liquid nitrogen
to make ice cream.
• The lemon juice helps reduce the sweetness brought about by the sugar. The sugar is
added not just for taste, but also to lower the freezing point of the liquid (salt does
the same thing). Adding a small quantity of alcohol will further help prevent the sorbet
from setting into a solid block. Ice cream and sorbets have a fascinating physical structure:
as the liquid begins to freeze, the remaining unfrozen liquid becomes more concentrated
in sugar, and as a result, the freezing point of the unfrozen portions drops.
Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking (Scribner) has an excellent explanation of this
process for the curious reader.
• You can make a more concentrated simple syrup and then dilute it (after letting it
cool) with champagne, pear brandy, or ginger brandy. The alcohol is a solvent and will
help carry the smells. Alternatively, try adding a pinch of ginger powder, cardamom, or
cinnamon either in the sorbet liquid or as a garnish.
(evidence I was nice once in March, 2011 *grin*)