FÊTE & FORAGE

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Somehow, bourbon makes everything better.

Everyone knows about poached pairs, but how about sticky, gooey, caramelized roast pears with a bourbon glaze? The mellow, nutty pear contrasts beautifully with tart robust macerated blackberries, and homemade honey nutmeg ice cream.

The key to choosing your pear for this dish is to stick with slightly under-ripened ones. I prefer Bosc (brown) because they are a little firmer and hold up well in cooking, but Bartlett (red) or Anjou (green) work fine as well. Avoid using ripened or overly soft pears as they will turn to mush.

Raw blackberries tend to be too hard, a little bitter, and with too many seeds for my taste. They are never my favorite pick-and-eat berry (I go for blueberries every time). But macerated — marinated in a mix of sugar and bourbon — loosens the fruit and brightens the flavor to delightfully sweet.

If you have an ice cream maker, you know how scrumptious honey nutmeg ice cream will be. This recipe makes the ice cream super smooth, as substituting honey for sugar softens ice cream. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, try drizzled honey and nutmeg over store-bought French vanilla ice cream for the next best thing.

Finally, I’ve always tried to buy local honey where possible. I stock up at farmer’s market in the summer and have “dealer” who meets me in a parking lot a few times during winter months. Try finding local honey where you are as a grocery store alternative. This particular batch came from a cool shop in Midtown Detroit featuring sustainability brand, Bees In the D.

Bourbon Roast Pears & Honey Nutmeg Ice Cream

Yields 4 Servings (Half Pear Each) | Prep Time : 15 |  Total Cook Time :30  

INGREDIENTS 
  • 2 slightly under-ripe Bosc pairs, quartered and cored
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¾ cup bourbon
EQUIPMENT 
  • cast iron pan or dutch oven that can go from the range to oven
DIRECTIONS 
  1. Preheat oven 400°.
  2. Dust cut-side of pears with powdered sugar (this helps the caramelization process — granulated sugar works as well but powdered sugar clings to the fruit better).
  3. Over medium-high heat, melt butter in pan until slightly bubbly. 
  4. Place pears in pan, cut-side down until edges and flat cut sides of fruit brown, about 5 on each edges of inside of pear.
  5. In a bowl, whisk honey and bourbon until blended.
  6. Turn fruit over in pan.
  7. Pour honey-bourbon liquid over fruit and cook another 3-5 minutes to soften skins a bit.
  8. Place pan in oven for 10-15 minutes until fruit relaxes shape.

Macerated Blackberries

Yields 4 Servings Prep Time: : 10 // Total Cook Time: 1:15   

INGREDIENTS 

  • pint blackberries
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup bourbon

EQUIPMENT 

  • mixing bowl+ saucepan

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Dust blackberries with powdered sugar.
  2. Place in bowl and pour bourbon over fruit, mixing until well coated.
  3. Set aside for up to an hour, turning fruit every 15 minutes. Do not over-marinate as that will drain the berries of their juices.
  4. When ready to serve, pour berries and juices in saucepan and heat up just until juices bubble. Do not overcook as berries will fall apart.
  5. Serve with the roasted pears.

Honey Nutmeg Ice Cream   

Yields 1 Pint | Prep Time :10 |  Total Cook Time: According to your ice cream maker instructions   

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup half-half 
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 1 tsp. powdered nutmeg or fresh nutmeg, grated
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tsp. vanilla

EQUIPMENT 

  • ice cream maker   

DIRECTIONS 

  1. In a bowl, blend all ingredients.
  2. Follow manufacturer’s directions for ice maker.

Serve with pears and berries with additional honey drizzle and sprinkling of grated nutmeg.

Bourbon Roast Pears & Honey Nutmeg Ice Cream

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