Adapted from Gelato! by Pamela Sheldon Jones
- 2 2/3 c pear juice (6-8 pears, juiced; or canned, in which case pear/apple is okay)
- 1 1/3 c amaretto
- 2/3 c plus 7/8 c sugar
- 8 pears
- 1 c heavy cream
- 3 c whole milk
- pinch of salt
- 8 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts
Peel, halve, and core the pears.
Combine pear juice, amaretto, and 2/3 c sugar in a 3-4 qt pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then add the pears and poach 35-40 min, until tender but not complete mush. Remove the pears and refrigerate. Simmer the liquid 25 minutes more to reduce and thicken somewhat. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and stir in the cream. Refrigerate.
In another pan, combine milk and salt and heat over medium heat just until bubbles form around the edges. Cover to keep warm.
Combine remaining sugar and egg yolks in a food processor until smooth. Slowly blend in the hot milk. At this point our mixture was quite frothy. We don't know whether it was supposed to be, but it worked out -- the second time.
Return the mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly. Original recipe said medium heat for 6-8 minutes and the result should coat the back of a wooden spoon. We did medium low heat for long enough for most of the froth to dissipate, which was probably twice that long, and there was still no more coating than when we started.
Remove the pan from the heat and place in a bowl of ice water. Stir for several minutes to aid cooling, then cover and stick the whole thing in the refrigerator. Let thoroughly chill (2 hours or so).
Chop half of the pears and puree with the egg mixture in a food processor. Freeze in an ice cream maker. (This is a slightly larger batch and we had some trouble fitting it in our ice cream maker. It makes plenty of extra gelato but you need all the pears to serve 8. You could probably make less of the egg mixture and put in less than half of the pears.)
To serve, gently reheat the reduced poaching liquid. Serve a scoop of gelato over a pear half, drizzle (or drench, as you prefer) with the hot sauce, and top with nuts.