Blue Cheese-Pear Ice Cream
- PHYLLO COOKIES:
- 1 pound firm-ripe Anjou pears peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 cup sweet late harvest Riesling, Muscat, Sauternes, or Montbazillac
- 1/2 cup pear nectar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 ounces Danish Blue, or other creamy blue cheese rind removed and crumbled
- 1 pinch salt
- Honey for drizzling
- Toasted chopped walnuts for sprinkling
- 2 sheets phyllo dough
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar
In a saucepan, combine the pears, wine, nectar, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are tender and the liquid is reduced by 1/2. Puree in a food processor and transfer to a bowl to cool. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Whisking, gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream. Return to medium-low heat and cook, whisking, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Add the blue cheese and salt, and whisk until fairly smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
Whisk together the pear and cheese mixture and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.
To serve, scoop the ice cream into bowls, 2 scoops per person. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Place 2 phyllo cookies in the ice cream and serve.
For the Phyllo Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
Place the phyllo on a work surface and cover with a damp kitchen towel. With a pastry brush, paint the top sheet with melted butter, and lightly sprinkle with nuts and sugar. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Fold the phyllo stack in 1/2 over itself. Cut the phyllo twice lengthwise and twice across to make rectangles.
Bake until golden brown and just crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan until ready to serve.
This recipe yields about 1 quart.