sábado, 6 de dezembro de 2008

roquefort-honey ice cream with roasted pears

If not the "king of cheeses" as some proclaim, Roquefort is at least one of the oldest and best known in the world. This blue cheese has been enjoyed since Roman times, and it is made with sheep's milk that is exposed to a mold and aged for three months or more in the limestone caverns of Mount Combalou near the village of Roquefort in southwestern France. Roquefort has a creamy-rich texture with a pungent, sharp, somewhat salty flavor.
This amazing combination of flavors will certainly surprise you. It's one of those ice cream recipes you can't stop having because of its sweet and salty complexity. A great way to serve it is to roast pears with some honey and vanilla. Not only do they taste delicious together, but the combination does double-duty as the cheese course and dessert. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure roasted fresh figs would work just as well.

You can substitute the Roquefort with a favorite blue cheese. Just be mindful that their salt content and creaminess vary. If you are using raw honey or a strong-flavored one, use the smaller amount indicated. You can always add more honey to taste at the end of the process.

roquefort-honey ice cream

  • 6 to 8 Tbsp good honey
  • 4 oz Roquefort cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Warm the honey in a small saucepan, then set aside. Crumble the cheese into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk in a medium saucepan. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warm egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until it thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cheese. Stir until most of the cheese is melted (leaving some small cheese bits is a good thing). Stir in the cream and honey.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream machine according to its instructions. Serve with honey roasted pears (recipe follows). Makes 3 cups.

honey-roasted pears:

  • 4 ripe bosc or comice pears, quartered lengthwise and cored
  • 3 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup good honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, halved

Preheat the oven to 450.
Place the pears and walnuts in a large, heavy skillet.
Drizzle with honey and dot with butter. Sprinkle with vanilla over the pears and set the pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Serves 4 to 8.

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