November 3, 2010

Refreshing Pear Sorbet, with Mint & Lime

I've been trying to do so many different things lately. Having recently finished (most of) the Blogging Your Way class, I've been thinking a lot about how to improve this blog, what I want to achieve with it and most of all, what is it that I'm passionate about and want to pursue. As you may have noticed, I've changed the layout of the blog and made some slight tweaks, begun to consciously style my photos a bit more and put effort into taking good pictures. I've got a lot more room for improvement obviously, but I'm really grateful for and blessed by all the encouragement that I've gotten from friends and visitors to this blog. It makes me want to do more, and create even more beautiful things and images. I'd especially like to thank Arianna of Arianna Interiors, who featured my blog yesterday here. I'm sooo excited cos it's the first time I've ever been featured on someone else's blog! :) I met the lovely Arianna together with a group of other design bloggers, who are forming dbcollective (Design Bloggers Collective) as a way to further promote design blogs and the design community.

Another thing keeping me busy is Pinterest, a new visual bookmarking/cataloguing site. Check it out if you haven't already, it's addictive! I've been surfing relentlessly and 'pinning' things rabidly. My pins and boards can be found here or follow the link on the right column. There's so much more I want to do, like take time to properly look through all my fellow BYW classmates' blogs and do more 'discovery' research, read up on photography techniques, just read (the new Jasper Fforde!), pick up my flower arrangements again, and of course bake and cook!

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Speaking of which, I haven't made ice-cream in a while. In fact, it's been really long since my freezer bowl cracked and leaked weird blue fluid (which was quite a while back). The replacement bowl has been sitting around for a while now and I thought it was about time for a christening. I eyed some pears and thought to myself that they'd make a great refreshing sorbet. I'll just pretend it's still summer.

pearsorbet-12

To kick it up a notch (a la Emeril), I wanted to add more flavours to the pears. Initially, I wanted to pair the pear (no pun intended) with ginger in order to spice it up but I didn't have any ginger in the house. What I did have was my newly acquired mint plant (now dead sadly) and some lime, which I thought would really enhance the delicate flavour of the pear. I'm a big fan of lime, vs lemon, as I feel like there's that extra fragrance to it. True enough, the sorbet was heavenly, light yet with a creamy texture from the pear flesh, gently spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and laced with the refreshing notes of mint and a hint of lime. I also put together a simple verrine dessert, as per the serving suggestion below. Enjoy!


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Pear Sorbet, with Mint & Lime
(makes about 500ml, my ice-cream maker is a 0.6L)

4 pears, peeled and cubed
70g caster sugar
70g glucose (replace with sugar if unavailable)
50ml water
half a lime (you will need both the juice and the zest)
3-4 sprigs of mint
half tsp nutmeg
half tsp cinnamon
(the spices are really to taste, so it's up to you how much or little you want to put)

Heat the sugar, glucose and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

When the sugar has melted, and the syrup is simmering, add the diced pears and spices into the sugar syrup. Squeeze the lime into the mixture (retain the lime, as you'd need the zest later). Turn the heat down to low.

Take the saucepan off the heat once pears have softened. This should take about 10 minutes.

Add the mint leaves to the mixture and grate the zest of the lime into it. Let this steep to impart their flavours while the mixture is cooling. You don't want to add the mint and zest during the cooking process (or while the mixture is very hot) as the flavours will be over-extracted and become bitter. Let the mixture cool for about an hour.

Remove the mint and puree the mixture. I used a hand blender, but I suppose you can use a food processor or stand blender as well, as long as the mixture is turned into a smooth puree. Transfer into a container and refrigerate, preferably overnight.

Turn on your ice-cream maker as per your manufacturer's instructions (if using a freezer bowl or disc type, this should be placed in the freezer at least overnight, I usually just keep mine in the freezer whenever I'm not using it).

Pour chilled mixture into freezer bowl and churn. If your bowl is chilled enough, this should not take more than 15 minutes to churn into a frozen mixture. The longer you allow the machine to churn, the more likelihood of bigger ice crystals which will result in an unsmooth ice-cream. So you'd ideally want a cold machine that will do the job fast.

Spoon sorbet into a container and store in freezer or serve immediately.

Serving suggestion:
Speculoos biscuits, crushed
Pears, cut into small cubes (I soak these in a lemon-water mixture to prevent oxidation)
Pear sorbet

Spoon 2 tsps of crushed speculoos into a transparent serving glass.

Add 2 tsps of chopped pears.

Top with a scoop of pear sorbet.

Garnish with a sprig of mint and some wafers.

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15 comments:

Sanda Vuckovic Pagaimo said...

This looks so good and I love a new fresh style of your blog..great!!!

Carole said...

Looks absolutely divine. BTW mean't to comment yesterday on the post Arianna did - your photography was stunning. I've pinned it to my boards on pininterest - yes I'm hooked too!!

Marie @ etincellestudio said...

Great blog! I feel the same about the BYW course... I have learnt so many things but it takes some time to implement everything! anyway it was great and encouraging. I think your photos are great, the food looks yummy and make me want to bake more! have you tried to register your blog on BlogLovin? I am on it, and I am following my favs over there too... very convenient!

heavenwildfleur said...

Thanks everyone!
Sanda: I'm still tweaking here and there, heh not satisfied yet. Feel free to give me feedback!

Carole: don't we all love Pinterest :) I just want to sit in front of the comp all day long pinning away!

Marie: Yeah, just have to do it one step at a time :) No, I haven't heard of BlogLovin, will go and check it out now, thanks!

Mariella said...

Thanks for the visit, your blog is fantastic and the pictures gorgeous! I have a weakness for food photography (well, food in general) so be sure I'll be back...and I am addicted to pinterest too, I absolutely love it!

This Home Sweet Home said...

Hello there, thanks for stopping by my blog, so far my photography course is going well, I'm more of a happy shapper really, but want to combine photography with interiors some how, although I'm getting really caught up with it at the moment and my blogging is suffering a little! If you are looking for some inspiration have you checked out flickr? some amazing photos there.

the Shutter said...

Wow! Your photography is just stunning and the food... oh my! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and I'll be back to visit you lots more.

heavenwildfleur said...

Great that you all stopped by! I think the inspiration that we can draw from the creative community out there is just so amazing. Glad that I found you guys thru BYW :)

Sue said...

This sounds so refreshing, and is gorgeous too! Your photography is just beautiful!

Lora said...

Love this recipe. Pear and mint. mmmm.

*sarah berry design* said...

These photos are FANTASTIC!! so beautiful, the styling is perfect and the food looks divine. Really great job!

Marie @ etincellestudio said...

Back here from Notabilia... heard that you will be in Singapore at the end of the year? I would love to meet up with Pooja and you and maybe other BYW fellow students here...

Chuzai Living said...

After I read this post a couple days ago, I realized I decided to update my neglected Pinterest page. Goodness, I think I'm getting addicted to it. I opened an account with Pinterest a while back, but I wasn't really sure how to use it, so I didn't go back. It takes a while to build up your own page, so I am taking it little by little.

Your photos here are beautiful. I like looking at foodie blogs. In some way I wish I could take beautiful pictures of sweets myself. I think it takes so much time and efforts to have a food blog if you bake and then do a photo shoot. I would love to learn more about it though. Maybe one day...

Susan: My Food Obsession said...

Your sorbet looks so delicate and feminine and your photos are just beautiful!

Trudi * Fabricated Tales said...

It is absolutely freezing in London, but your stunning photos are still making me want to eat sorbet!

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