Pear Tart & Ginger Ice Cream

Maybe next year I should start with dessert prep and start from there because every year I have so many ideas on how to make dessert but after everything I go through, I give up and have no time to make a “difficult” dessert and end up doing something that I’m familiar with.

I won’t go on about how I was originally going to incorporate puff pastry into this and how it was going to come with a caramel sauce… one of these days…

I honestly didn’t have enough time to plan out this year’s prep list because my job’s work schedule changed its beginning and ending day of the week so I didn’t realize Thanksgiving was technically one week away… but the way that the schedule is now made it seem like I still had two weeks. SMH.

Here we have a slice of Pear Tart, using two types of pears – Asian Pear for the filling and Red Bosc Pears for the topping – served with fresh ginger ice cream and ginger snap crumble.

Plans for Friendsgiving 2019

I’m very early this year for my Friendsgiving menu plans! Inspiration started and I decided to just go with it. I’ve been usually doing dinner for four for the past couple of years because that means less glassware to clean but I want to do six people total this year… Here is what I have so far; I expect menu changes…

Egg on Egg on Egg
Sea Urchin • Soft Scramble • Trout Roe
Potato Foam • Pumpernickel Soil
(1st course)

Quail with Autumn Mushrooms
Chanterelles • King Trumpet • Cremini Purée
Rosemary • Montegrato Pedro Ximénez
(2nd course)

5 Spiced Duck Leg Cappellacci
Celery • Brown Butter • Cured Egg Yolk • Fennel
(3rd course)

Dry Aged Duck Breast
Homemade Hoisin • Pickled Cucumber • Chive Oil
(4th course)

Pear Tart
Ginger Snap • Ginger Ice Cream
(5th course)

Recipe: Maple Ice Cream

FYI, I make all my ice creams with gelatin sheets – it makes the ice cream smoother and it gives it better texture!

  • ⅔ cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1¾ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 gelatin sheets

First prepare an ice bath. Also, bloom gelatin sheets in some ice and water, set aside.

Heat maple syrup and reduce by a quarter, about 5 minutes, then set aside. In a saucepan, combine heavy cream and milk. Turn on heat to medium-high and warm it up in order to temper eggs. It shouldn’t get to boiling, just heat it up so that it’s hot to the touch then turn off the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and salt until combined. Temper eggs slowly with heavy cream/milk mixture then return to saucepan and heat. Continue whisking custard mixture until the temperature reaches 168°F. Remove from heat, add in the bloomed gelatin and reduced maple syrup. Taste for seasoning, add more salt if you like your maple ice cream to be less sweet. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer and cool over the ice bath.

Spin according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.

Sample dishes:

Pear Tart with Maple Ice Cream

This was the fifth and last course to my Friendsgiving 2017 dinner.

Originally, I had planned a Cranberry & Pear Tart with Almond Cream – a dessert that I haven’t made before and that I was excited about! But two days before the big day, I was craving more traditional Thanksgiving flavors so I decided to make a pear tart because if you don’t satisfy your cravings, very bad things can happen next… e.g. a sweet-tooth rampage.

I would have been totally okay with just serving a wedge of Pear Tart but to make it nice, I also served it with some homemade Maple Ice Cream and Ground Candied Pecans.

Savory Ice Cream Salad

This was the first course to my Friendsgiving 2017 dinner.

I’ve been hosting Friendsgiving Dinner at my home since 2008, and that was still back in Austin. This is the second consecutive year where I have had only three other people eating Friendsgiving dinner. I’m worn out. Cooking and serving for four people is more manageable when it’s only myself.

The menu went through many changes and revisions. I had originally had the 3rd course as the 1st course. I wanted to start the first course to be something that I haven’t done before and to be something completely unexpected so this is what I came up with. As my regular guests can attest, they were blown away by this course and so was I.

We did have a little hiccup before serving the first course. The lemon foam exploded from the iSi dispenser because there was too much pressure, so there were egg white and lemon juice all over my kitchen walls and on/in my face/eyes! Aaaaackkk!!!

Here is a Savory Ice Cream Salad, which consists of Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, Pumpernickel Soil, Lemon Foam, Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, and Baby Mesclun Greens.

Plans for Friendsgiving 2017

I’m a month late this year… I usually have my Friendsgiving menu ready in August – I like to plan early!

Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, Pumpernickel Soil, Lemon Foam, Microgreens
(1st course)

Dill-Brined Halibut with Farro, Sun-Dried Tomato, Pine Nuts, Micro Chervil
(2nd course)

Butternut Squash Velouté, Black Trumpets, Chanterelles, Toasted Pepitas & Chives
(3rd course)

Duck Carnitas, Pickled Onions, Watermelon Radish, Serrano, Cilantro, Lime, Tortillas
(4th course)

Warm Pear Tart, Candied Pecans, Maple Ice Cream
(5th course)