I haven’t made ice cream for a really long time. I have an amazing Cuisinart ice cream maker that has been a workhorse for many years. I think the problem was that I got quite busy and it was so much easier to grab a tub of Enlightened or Zilch at the supermarket. But lately, thanks to the relatively uneven supply chains from worldwide restrictions from Covid19, I think the Enlightened supply has been held up and there are only 2 – 3 tubs of low carb ice cream in my regular supermarket (and I didn’t quite like the flavour).
I was in Whampoa market the other day with my favourite fruit seller and he showed me these beautiful pears that had a lovely blush on the skin – too pretty! So of course I succumbed even though strictly I don’t eat apples or pears because of the higher carb count. Pears are about 15 g carbs per 100 g, but with calculations, I figured that making a pear ice cream would spread out the carbs from the fruit sugars (by my calculation about 3 – 4 g carbs per scoop).
I modified the recipe in The Perfect Scoop by David Leibovitz. This is really my favourite ice cream recipe book with lots of great ideas. Making low carb ice cream is rather tricky because the sugar substitutes that we use tend to crystallize when frozen. This gives a rather hard ice cream which is difficult to scoop up. The fix is to actually use some alcohol or glycerin to help prevent this crystallization. Vodka is a great alcohol to use and I was chuffed to find a little bottle of pear vodka in the cupboard – perfect for this recipe! Vegetable glycerin is also one option but I do find a slightly soapy aftertaste which is rather disconcerting.
The caramel was made with some Yacon syrup. I discovered this some time ago – it is absolutely optional in this recipe because you can certainly get a decent caramel with erythritol, but the Yacon syrup which is an extract of the roots of a South American yacon plant. The syrup tastes a little like molasses and gives a deeper flavoured caramel I think.
I think I’m back in business – will probably go into another ice cream phase soon and get my Cuisinart back into business.
Pear Caramel Ice Cream
- 3 pears
- 3/4 cup of sugar substitute (I used Lakanto, which is a combination of monk fruit and erythritol)
- 1 tbsp yacon syrup (optional)
- 2 cups of cream
- 1 tsp vodka
- 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)
- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
- Peel and core the pears and chop into small cubes.
- Over medium heat, heat up the sugar substitute and yacon syrup. Gently stir as the sugar melts. Stir for about 5 – 7 minutes. When the syrup turns to a dark amber, the caramel is done.
- Add the pear pieces and 1/4 tsp of salt and stir through. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Turn off the flame and take the pot off the stove. Add 1/2 cup of cream to the mixture and stir through, then add the rest of the cream and mix well. Add the vodka and glycerin if using.
- Blend the mixture (I used a stick blender). Pass the mixture through a sieve and discard the pear pulp.
- Refrigerate the mixture fully for at least 1/2 hour.
- Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine, then freeze. Serve when fully frozen.