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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by the gingerbread at Cafe Divine in San Francisco. After lots of trial and error, I finally got the warm brownie consistency I was looking for, and served it triumphantly to my cooking club at our annual Thanksgiving feast. One of the guests literally licked her plate, which was exactly the response I was going for. For a less time-consuming version, skip the homemade ice cream and serve with store bought vanilla ice cream. —Ms. T
Pear Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe bosc pears, peeled, cored and halved
- 1/4 cup bottled pear juice
- 2 cups half and half
- 6 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 splash brandy, amaretto or other liqueur
- Preheat oven to 375. Place pears in baking dish and sprinkle with 1-2 tbs sugar and splash of brandy or other liqueur. Roast in oven until pears are fork-tender, about 30 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Puree pears in food processor with ¼ cup pear juice and any liquid from roasting pan. Set aside.
- Heat half-and-half in heavy saucepan over low heat, until hot but not boiling. Whisk the sugar into the egg yolks. Whisk in some of the hot half-and-half, and then add all of the egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking to combine. Add 1 tbs vanilla and small splash of brandy or other liquer. Cook at a low simmer, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the spoon.
- Place the saucepan in a pan of ice water and stir to cool to room temp. Stir in heavy cream and pear puree. Strain mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Can make a day ahead and store in freezer.
Gingerbread & Caramel Sauce
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, pepper, cloves, allspice and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, eggs, brown sugar, molasses with an electric mixer. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and combine with mixer.
- Pour batter into a greased baking pan (like a brownie pan), and bake for about 25 min, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- While cake is baking, make caramel sauce. Scald the cream in a saucepan, reduce heat to very low, and keep warm. Heat the sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon. (Do not use metal spoon). The sugar will slowly melt into a clear liquid and gradually darken. Don’t worry if the sugar lumps–keep stirring and the lumps will melt into the caramel as it darkens. When the caramel has turned a rich mahogany color, pour it slowly into the hot cream, whisking constantly. The caramel will spatter so be careful not to burn yourself. Stir until combined and remove from heat. The sauce thickens as it cools and will solidify in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to 2 days.
- While cake cools slightly, pour warm caramel sauce onto individual serving plates. Place a slice of warm cake on top of caramel sauce, and top with a scoop of pear ice cream. Drizzle with more caramel and serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert
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