Winter Warmer: Pear Flambé with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Crème Fraîche


Pears can be disappointing when you want to eat one. So often they’re either rock hard and take days to ripen, or they’re bruised, dented messes that don’t look the least bit appetizing. One trick to satisfy this craving is to flambé them. Even the most inedible pears become al dente slices of heaven when combined with a little butter, sugar, brandy and fire. And don’t worry, we’ve learned a few things since our first flambé! (See: Don’t Burn Down the Rental! post.)

1 winter pear, 1/4″ slices
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Splash of brandy
1 inch vanilla bean
Vanilla bean ice cream
Crème fraîche

Cook the butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until combined and beginning to bubble, 3-4 minutes. Add the pear slices and cook for 5 minutes until they soften and are just turning translucent. With a pan top ready nearby, add the brandy to the pan and light. Once the flame has gone out, add the vanilla bean and lemon juice and remove from heat. Let the pears cool for a couple of minutes, then top a scoop (or two) of vanilla bean ice cream with the pears and a dollop of crème fraîche.


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