If you ever find yourself in Columbus, you need to get a scoop of Jeni's ice cream. Period. It's as simple as that. If you come here to visit me, it will be on our to-do list during your stay, even if it's thirty degrees outside like it was when my friend Gillian came in March. This ice cream is so good, and it stands for things I stand for, like supporting local businesses, enjoying food that's in season, and adorable interior design (well...that last one is just a perk if you make it to one of the actual stores).
A few months ago, Jeni of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (yes, the name actually has the word splendid in it...how adorable is that!) published a recipe book! It has a dozen sorbets in it, including my absolute favorite, Riesling poached pear sorbet. Today I am going to walk you through the steps of making this delicious dessert, now that it is finally pear season! If you have an ice cream maker at home, go get a copy of her book, it contains beautiful photographs and delicious recipes!
Step 1: peel, core, and chop around 1 3/4 lb. pears--somewhere between 4 and 6 pears. Mine were a little on the under-ripe side because I was too eager, so you want to let them ripen for a few days if they are too firm.
Step 2: on the stove, melt together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup corn syrup (it's not high fructose, don't freak out...you can substitute another syrup here if you'd prefer). Don't let it burn but keep it on the stove until the sugar is dissolved.
Step 3: While you're melting the sugar, put your pears in a skillet over medium heat for around 5-10 minutes, until they are soft. The amount of time will depend on the ripeness of the pear, so use your judgment. Stir them often so that they don't burn.
Step 4: Remove your sugar mixture from the stove and add to it 1/2 cup Riesling. I didn't spend a lot on my bottle of wine, but my piece of advice would be that if it doesn't taste good enough to drink, it's not good enough to cook with. That is just a basic rule of cooking.
Step 5: (sorry, no photo) Puree your pears in a blender or food processor. It can help if you add a few tablespoons of the liquid mixture to them while blending. The consistency should be very smooth, like applesauce.
Step 6: Chill in your fridge for at least a few hours (overnight is a good idea, if you can wait that long).
Step 7: Turn your mix into sorbet via your ice cream maker's directions! Isn't this adorable? This was my summer gift to myself, a miniature ice cream maker in pistachio green. It makes half a pint at a time, and comes with two canisters. It only takes about 5 minutes to make ice cream in it, too.
Step 8: Enjoy!