Caramelized Brioche with Glazed Pears and Beer Ice Cream
This recipe is brought to you by our friends from Stella Artois.
This dessert from Michelin three-star chef Antoine Westermann looks simple, but is richly textured and flavored: smooth, cold, luscious beer ice cream and warm, tender, fragrant glazed pears join crisp-crusted brioche that’s battered in beer and cream before being caramelized in a pan. You will need an ice cream maker, and will want to prepare the beer ice cream well in advance so it has ample time to freeze. You can also soak the pears in their citrus, vanilla, and cinnamon scented bath ahead of time, then glaze them with brown sugar and butter when you’re ready to assemble dessert, just before you toast the beer-and-cream-soaked brioche. While a pale ale or Belgian pilsner like Stella Artois will make for a nice light, clean flavor, you can certainly play around with your favorite style of brew for this recipe. For a main course from the chef, try his Baeckeoffe (Chicken Casserole with Artichokes and Tomatoes) recipe.
For the beer ice cream:
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup beer
For the glazed pears:
- 2 ripe pears
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 lemon, sliced thinly
- 1/2 orange, sliced thinly
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla pod
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- juice from 1/2 orange
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 5 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the brioche:
- 4 thick slices brioche
- 5 1/4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup beer
- 5 1/2 tablespoons butter
Make the beer ice cream:
1In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth and creamy.
2In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the beer and cream almost to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
3While whisking constantly, very gradually add this heated mixture in a thin stream to the egg yolks and sugar. This tempers the eggs so they do not curdle. When everything is mixed together, pour into the saucepan and bring back to a gentle simmer, stirring gently with a rubber or silicone spatula. Do not boil or the eggs will curdle. To check if the cream mixture is ready, lift the spatula and gently blow on the surface; if the cream scatters like a rose blooming, it is ready. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before placing in an ice cream maker.
4Freeze mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Make the glazed pears:
1Mix water with ice, lemon slices, orange slices, cinnamon stick, vanilla pod, lemon juice, and orange juice. Peel the pears and slice in half from stem to bottom. Soak in the ice water mixture for at least 20 minutes. Cut the soaked pear halves into thin fan shaped slices.
2Melt butter in a pan and place the pears in the pan. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and swirl the melted sugar and butter mixture over the pear slices to caramelize.
Make the brioche:
1Cut each slice of brioche in half on the diagonal and toast the slices.
2In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then beat in the sugar. Add beer and mix well until combined. In a pan, melt some of the butter. Dip the toasted brioche in the egg and beer mixture and coat fully. Place the soaked brioche in the hot pan and sprinkle a little extra sugar on top. Pour a little extra egg and beer mixture on top as well. Heat until nicely browned, then turn over and brown the other side.
3Arrange two brioche triangles on each plate. Place the glazed pears and a scoop of the beer ice cream beside the brioche and serve.
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