So I thought they would surely do justice for a stunning - yet so easy - dessert made for dear friends:
Saffron-poached pears...4 - 6 firm pears, peeled
2 tbs honey
juice of 1 medium orange
2 green cardamom pods
half a cinnamom stick
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out (or 1 tsp of vanilla essence)
a good pinch of saffron strands
Put everything apart from the pears into a big-enough pan with 300 ml of water and bring to a simmer. Give it all a good whisk and add the pears, then cover and simmer for ca 30 mins until tender (turn them over a few times to get an even colour). Transfer to a bowl and reduce the poaching liquid until syrupy. Pour over pears and chill until ready to serve.
...with ginger ice cream600 ml double cream
300 ml full-fat milk
5 large egg yolks
100 g caster sugar
2 stem ginger balls in syrup, finely chopped
1 tbs stem ginger syrup
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Heat the milk and cream until almost boiling. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick. Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking, then return to the pan. Put on a low heat, whisking continously until the cream has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the ginger. Pour into a shallow dish and leave to cool. Freeze for an hour. Stir the mixture with a fork to break up any ice crystals. Repeat twice more.
I use my electric whisk to make the ice cream custard - it works every time and never gets lumpy this way!
You can - of course - use an ice cream maker. (I do...)