Sunday, January 15, 2012

Until Next Season, Pears

I know Fall is gone and we're in the midst of winter (really?  It's still 70 and sunny in the Bay Area), but one of my favorite fall ingredients are pears. Here's a cocktail that I love to make when they're in season.  NOTE:  you don't have to go all out and use pear foam in this drink, although it is a nice touch.  If omitting the pear foam, add .5 oz. egg white to the below recipe, and be sure to dry-shake before adding ice.

1.75 oz. Old Overholt rye whiskey (good rye, great price)
.75 oz. up to 1 oz.  lemon juice, based on your personal taste preference
.75 oz. Rothman & Winters Orchard Pear Liqueur
.25 oz. Grade B maple syrup
1 dash each Angostura bitters & home-made pear bitters
Shake well with ice
Fine-strain into a chilled Coupe glass
Top with a layer of pear foam (using an ISI Cannister) onto surface of drink *
Garnish with a dehydrated pear chip and a lemon twist **

Pear Foam (dispensed from an ISI Cannister/Whipper)
(Makes enough for about 18 cocktails)

1-1/4 leaves gelatin
4 cups cold water
7 ounces strained pear nectar
2 ounces strained lemon juice
3 ounces home-made pear simple syrup
1/3 cup Thai coconut milk

1. In a metal bowl, bloom the gelatin leaves in the water for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine the fruit juices/nectars and pear simple syrup in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat just until it boils. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

3. Remove the gelatin from the water and squeeze out most of the excess water. Discard the water and toss the gelatin back into the empty bowl.

4. Fill a large bowl with ice and set the bowl with the gelatin on top of the ice. Pour the hot juices mixture over the gelatin slowly. With a whisk, beat the gelatin until frothy, about 30 seconds.

5. Allow the gelatin mixture to cool to at least 45°F, then whisk in the coconut milk.

6. Pour the mixture into a whipped cream canister and seal it tight. Invert the canister and charge it with a cartridge.

7. Shake the canister vigorously for 15 seconds, then place it in the refrigerator to cool. The foam can be used after about 10 minutes, but it will be more stable after 24 hours. Shake the canister vigorously before each use. Cover the tip of the canister with a small towel so any foam left on the tip from the last use doesn't splatter when you shake it again. Always dispense the foam with the canister completely inverted over the cocktail. If the foam comes out thick, let it settle on top of the drink for 15 to 20 seconds before garnishing. Keep the canister refrigerated when not dispensing the foam.

** Dehydrated Pear Chips
(Makes about 8 chips)

1 large pear
1/2 cup pear simple syrup
Cinnamon, for sprinkling
Sugar, for sprinkling

Using a mandolin, cut as many thick slices from the pear as you can.

If using a food dehydrator, spray the trays with vegetable oil or lightly oil them with a paper towel. Dip pear slices in home-made pear simple syrup (to prevent browning and to intensify the pear flavor) and shake off any excess syrup. Lay the slices on the rack. Sprinkle each slice with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar. Dehydrating will take 24 to 36 hours, depending on the thickness of the slice.

If using the oven, preheat it to 150°F. Lay the pear slices on a silicone mat and sprinkle each with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar. Place the silicone mat on the center rack in the oven and bake for 5 hours, until almost all of the moisture is gone. Set the chips on a wire rack to cool. They will be warm, soft, and limp for a few minutes and will harden as they cool, just like cookies fresh from the oven. Stored in an airtight container, the chips will keep for 3 to 5 days.

1 comment:

Sam Blankenship said...

I would love to make this at home..I even have an iSi. I'm going to have to give it a try. It sounds delicious!