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Caribou-Poached Pears and Ice Cream

Photo: Douglas Merriam
Yield 8 servings
Pears are poached in a Québécois beverage called caribou, which is often served during the winter carnival. Double the amount of hot spiced wine you make, reserve half, and enjoy it as a beverage.


  • 1 1/4 cups fruity red wine
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 (1-inch) cinnamon sticks, divided
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup white rum
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 firm Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled and cored
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Nutrition Information

  • calories 237
  • fat 9.4 g
  • satfat 4.7 g
  • monofat 3.1 g
  • polyfat 0.9 g
  • protein 3.3 g
  • carbohydrate 32.3 g
  • fiber 3.6 g
  • cholesterol 75 mg
  • iron 0.6 mg
  • sodium 39 mg
  • calcium 74 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine wine, juniper berries, anise, 2 cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes; remove from heat. Let stand for 30 minutes. Strain mixture over a bowl, reserving liquid; discard solids. Stir in 1/3 cup white rum.

  2. Combine rum mixture and 1/4 cup sugar in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Place pears in pan; cook 1 hour or until pears are tender, turning occasionally. Remove pears; cool. Bring cooking liquid to a boil; cook 15 minutes or until mixture reduces to 1/4 cup.

  3. Combine milk, whipping cream, and remaining 2 cinnamon sticks in a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; discard cinnamon sticks. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return mixture to pan; cook over low heat until mixture reaches 160°, stirring constantly. Place pan in an ice-filled bowl; cool completely. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Carefully drain liquid from bucket; repack bucket with ice and salt. Cover with kitchen towels; ripen at least for 1 hour.

  4. Cut pears in half lengthwise. Slice each pear half, lengthwise, cutting to but not through stem end. Fan one pear half on each of 8 small plates, and drizzle pear halves evenly with reduced syrup. Serve with 1/4 cup ice cream. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon pistachios over each serving.