Saturday, 3 August 2013

Instant Pear Sorbet

Ernest Glaces in La Rochelle makes the best ice cream in the world. Forget Italian 'gelato' or Pinkberry frozen yoghurt (NOT ice cream, whatever they may say) or other fancy concoctions, go to La Rochelle and tell Ernest that Reggie sent you. I will be reviewing Ernest properly in a later post.

So at Ernest's ice cream-a-porium, I ordered my favourite combination - pear sorbet and chocolate fudge ice cream in an attempt to recreate a 1970s dessert favourite of mine: Poires belle Helene - and it was like eating heaven. So, this weekend I thought I would attempt to re-live a holiday culinary treat and buy the same from an ice cream parlour in the UK. But...

Pear sorbet is surprisingly impossible to find in London.

I tried everywhere (except possibly Fortnum's or Harrods - but then I'm not really in the '£10 per tub' ice cream market), but had to use lateral thinking to come up with this dish in as short a time frame as possible. After all, I wanted to eat it NOW!!!

So an instant homemade miracle it had to be. Just check out the non-huge list of ingredients for this fantastic dessert. I really don't think you can call this a recipe - more of a technique to be used when you can't buy the flavour of sorbet you want from your local supermarket. Due to the huge success of this treat, I just bought a tin of mango pulp in syrup to add to my own range of flavours. I'll let you know how it goes.

I didn't bother to make the chocolate fudge ice cream - Ben and Jerry helped me out with that.

Cost-wise, a tin of pears at my local Waitrose is 69p, so the whole recipe is £1.38, which means less than 13p per serving. So at 2 Euros a boule in La Rochelle, I reckon Ernest Glaces is raking it in.

Makes 10-12 servings


2 x 400g tins of pear halves in syrup

Freeze the tins until hard, then remove the contents by opening both ends of the tin and using a wooden spoon to prod the pears through into a strong bowl. Using a hand blender, blend the pears until smooth and transfer to a freezer-proof container. You can serve the sorbet immediately (which will be fairly soft but still slushily frozen), or freeze until hard and then remove the sorbet from the freezer 20-30 minutes before serving to allow to soften slightly. 

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