Each breath brings scents and aromas—pears chopped bypass ethereal, their fruity floral fragrance released.
Pear Sorbet with Cardamom – A Recipe
Use winter pears such as Beurre d’Anjous picked late in the fall for the most sweetness. After picking, store pears in a cool place for a month or two until at the peak of ripe juiciness (but before brown spots appear).
Combine a half cup white granulated sugar and 1 ½ cups water in a small pan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Lower heat and simmer without a lid for about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool syrup in the refrigerator or by placing the pan in a bowl of ice or, if the day is cold, outside.
Peel, core, and chop 4 ripe pears and immediately mix the chopped pears with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
Remove the husks from a few cardamom pods. If you use green cardamom, pressing lightly with a rolling pin will crack the shell so the seeds can be more easily removed. Separate the cardamom seeds from the pieces of husk. Crush the seeds using a stone mortar.
Combine chilled sugar syrup, chopped pears soaked in lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, and 2 tablespoons eau de vie de poire* (in a pinch use vodka). Puree in food processor, food mill, or blender. Straining is optional.
If you have a gelato machine, use that to freeze the sorbet. If not (or if your freezer is not cold enough to freeze the gelato-maker) then pour the puree into a shallow pan and place in the freezer. Every couple hours scrape and stir the freezing mixture with a fork. When the puree is frozen, you may wish to fluff it up (i.e., add air) with a mixer or food processor.
Should you happen to be living in a cabin somewhere without electricity but have a supply of ice and salt, you could use a hand crank ice cream maker or probably devise some other method (with buckets and pans and ice and salt) or if it is winter just place the shallow pan of puree out on the porch railing.
Makes about a quart.
* The alcohol in the liquor keeps the sorbet from freezing too hard.
Ingredients: granulated white sugar, whole cardamom, 4 ripe d’Anjou pears (prefer late harvest red d’Anjous), a lemon, and eau de vie de poire (or pear brandy).