More local produce is pouring in the doors as the season nears end. And you can pretty much count on all of our Spring and Summer flavors to be inspired by the local produce that is in season in and around Minnesota and Wisconsin. This week, our friend Molly McNeil of Minnesota Peach dropped by with some Luscious Pears, inspiring this weeks flavor, Pear Mascarpone with Prosciutto and Red Wine Caramel. It’s real easy to do, now check it out…
And here they are, Luscious Pears! David Griffin, of Minnesota Peach, is growing a variety of different pears, apples, plums, apricots, peaches, cherries, grapes, as well as a cornucopia of heirloom vegetables on his Cold Spring, MN farm. We were hoping to get our hands on some of his “surprise” plums this year, but unfortunately, warm late winter temperatures brought early budding to his trees, and April frost devastated this year’s crop.
Fortunately, these Luscious Pears, not much bigger than plums, are packed with juicy sweetness…the kind that runs down your face after each bite.
I wanted to try a new technique incorporating the flavor of the pears into the ice cream this week. I wanted to actually flavor the ice cream base with the pears, and as we often talk about, moisture content is always a big issue with fresh fruits. To start with, we core the pears, and toss in the food processor for a little spinneroni.
Next, the puree gets pushed through a fine mesh chinois to extract the pear nectar, leaving the pulp behind.
We added a little sugar to the nectar and reduced it until the sugars concentrated enough so that it would not turn icy in the ice cream.
The nectar reduction along with the Mascarpone, get added into the ice cream base, making for a rich luscious pear base.
I originally had thoughts of using Prosciutto with a plum flavor, but it pairs so well with almost all fruit, that I decided to go with it for this week’s flavor.
The prosciutto gets laid out on parchment, and into the oven to bake. The result are these ultra thin, crispy salty bits of Prosciutto that get tossed into the ice cream at the end of the churn. They soften up a little in the cream, but these little bits are money-in-your-mouth.
And the final component to this week’s flavor jam is a red wine caramel. We start it off making a traditional caramel with sugar and water. After the sugar boils and turns an amber color, we add our Primitivo Italian red wine and reduce until the caramel coats the back of a spoon. Now it’s ready to layer into our pints.
The result is this rich creamy pear ice cream with salty bits of prosciutto and a red wine caramel layered in to blow your mind.
If you’re interested in trying –
Every week, we give two pints away of our new flavor in a random drawing. To enter, leave a comment on our facebook page or, leave a comment right here on the blog. We’ll draw two winners on Friday afternoon (9/14/2012) at 4pm and will announce them on our facebook page (or email you if you’re comment resides here). Our only conditions are you must be able to pick it up here in Minneapolis, and agree to give us a little feedback that can be shared with everyone else. Good luck!