Making a dairy- and wheat-free dessert is a bit of a challenge, and I often look to fruit sorbet for a solution. Being in the middle of fall, ripe pears were easy to find and I used them to make an alternative dessert for a big, weeknight dinner.
On Tuesday, we hosted seven other people at our home as part of 1000 Dinners TO. One of our guests could not eat (cow’s) milk products nor wheat, so the main dessert, Dutch apple crisp, would not be appropriate for her. With only a day’s notice, and five other dishes in various states of preparation, I didn’t have a lot of time to come up with (and make) an alternative. Fortunately, I found a promising recipe on Serious Eats.
We have a local greengrocer which sells fruits and vegetables cheaper than the supermarket chains. They’re able to do so because they offer produce that isn’t perfect: items are often bruised, or on the verge of being overripe. For this recipe, this store was the perfect place to get ripe Bartlett pears. If you’re not familiar with it, do check out a French supermarket chain called Intermarché which has a campaign to sell “inglorious” fruits and vegetables (les fruits et légumes moches).
There’s not much to the preparation, just cooking the pears (which I peeled, cored and chopped) in the Riesling, along with slices of ginger. Once cooled, the mixture is sweetened with sugar, then puréed in a blender, then its flavour adjusted with lemon juice and salt. After a night in the fridge, I churned the base in an ice cream maker, then let it ripen during the day.
The result was a smooth, creamy and pure-tasting sorbet that had a perfect balance of fruit, wine and, uh, rhizome. Most of the alcohol evaporated while the fruit cooked, so there isn’t much residual booziness. This was an excellent recipe that turned out great, and I would make it again.