Caramel pears with rice pudding ice-cream

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

  • 300 gm honey
  • 150 ml dessert wine
  • Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 6 ripe Bosc pears, halved, cores removed with a melon baller
  •  
  • Rice pudding ice-cream
  • 800 ml pouring cream
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 80 gm arborio rice
  • 200 ml dessert wine
  • 280 gm raw caster sugar
  • 10 egg yolks
01   For rice pudding ice-cream, bring 200ml cream, 200ml milk and half the vanilla seeds to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, then set aside. Melt butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat, add rice and stir until lightly toasted (1-2 minutes). Add half the dessert wine, stir until absorbed, then add milk mixture and bring to the simmer. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and rice is tender (20-25 minutes). Whisk 100gm sugar and 3 yolks in a bowl to combine, stir into rice mixture and cook, stirring continuously, until thickened (1-2 minutes). Spread on a tray and refrigerate until chilled. Meanwhile, bring remaining cream, milk, dessert wine and vanilla seeds to the simmer in a clean saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk remaining sugar and yolks in a bowl until thick and pale (3-4 minutes), pour cream mixture into yolks and whisk to combine. Return to pan and stir continuously until mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon (4-5 minutes), strain into a clean bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Freeze in an ice-cream machine, then transfer to a container and fold in rice pudding mixture. Freeze until required. Makes about 1.5 litres.
02   Boil honey in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until caramelised (4-5 minutes), then carefully add dessert wine (be careful, hot caramel will spit), rind and juice and cook until lightly syrupy (2-3 minutes). Add pears, cut-side down, and cook, turning occasionally, until tender and caramelised (8-10 minutes). Serve pears and syrup warm with rice pudding ice-cream.

Note When you're making caramel, stir water and sugar over heat until sugar dissolves, then let mixture boil without stirring but swirling the pan so the caramel cooks and colours evenly, brushing down the sides with a pastry brush to remove sugar crystals.

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