Cold weather can’t stop Salty Caramel Ice Cream with Roasted Pears.

Salty Caramel Ice Cream with Roasted Pears

Perhaps Michelle began thinking of ice cream because Gourmandistan is currently locked in a frozen wasteland, our only connection to the outside world being our rattling, rusty 20-year-old SUV. (And after our last round of snow and sub-freezing temperatures, we may not even have that.) Also, Michelle is usually looking for something sweet. She was browsing through Madeleine Kamman’s In Madeleine’s Kitchen and saw a recipe for “Crème Glacée à la Savoyarde {A Savoie-Inspired Caramel and Pear Ice Cream},” an idea Kamman writes was inspired by “the women of Savoie” baking pears with sugar and butter, then dissolving the juices with cream from their cows. Adding sugar, butter and/or cream is just about the only way to get Michelle to eat fruit, and the idea of salty caramel ice cream (with booze!) pretty much sealed the bargain no matter what the temperature was outside.

Making her way out on what may be our last shopping trip for several days, Michelle managed to bring home several Bosc pears. And, while Steve rested from his Sisyphean struggles against creek ice, she baked pears and used the caramelized juices to make a caramel crème anglaise.

The next day we cranked up the ice cream, then allowed the mixture to sit overnight as we once again fretted that our furnace might finally give out. Fortunately we still have heat, which made enjoying this ice cream even better.

Salty Caramel Ice Cream

Rich, caramely and slightly salty, it’s even better with the roasted pears sprinkled with Poire William.

Salty Caramel Ice Cream with Roasted Pears

So good, we’ll hopefully see it again this summer, maybe with apples. And believe us, that season can’t come too soon.


(adapted from Madeleine Kamman’s In Madeleine’s Kitchen) (serves 4-6)

  • 3 ripe Bosc pears
  • Butter
  • 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/2 c. sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 c. milk
  • 1 TB water
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • Pinch of dried ginger
  • Pear brandy (Poire William), “as needed”

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Peel, halve and core the pears. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the pears in one layer. Place pears, cut side down, in the baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. sugar. Add a bit of water to the bottom of the dish. Bake until the pears are tender and lightly browned, using a spatula to turn midway through. It will take somewhere between and hour and an hour and a half, depending on the type of pan used.

Remove the pears to a cutting board, setting aside the baking dish with the caramelized pear juices. Slice the pears thinly lengthwise. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Whisk together the egg yolks and 1/8 c. sugar in a bowl and reserve.

Put cream and milk in a saucepan. Warm over low heat.

Place the pan the pears were cooked in on the stove over low heat. Add a bit of the cream/milk mixture and stir to dissolve the caramelized juices. Strain this mixture into the warmed cream and milk.

Place 1/2 c. sugar and 1 TB water in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is a deep caramel color. Let cool slightly. Then, slowly add the cream mixture, stirring. It will bubble up significantly.

Add a bit of the caramel cream mixture to the egg yolks to temper. Then, add the yolk mixture to the caramel cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add salt, vanilla and ginger. Cover and chill overnight.

The following day, freeze in an ice cream maker. Remove from the ice cream maker bowl, place in a container and freeze for another 24 hours to “ripen.”

To serve, mix the sliced pears with a splash of Poire William. Place pears in serving bowls and top with ice cream.

*Note:  This recipe is a multi-day process. Plan accordingly.


  1. One always needs pear brandy! This sounds like a wonderful recipe. We don’t have an ice cream maker, but I’ve started to try a couple of ‘no churn’ ice cream recipes and adding different flavours. Salty caramel is on the list, now with roasted pears in tow.

  2. What a beautiful recipe. Pears are lovely this time of year – and Poire William is great any time of year (of course). My daughter loves to go for ice-cream when it’s frigid. I guess we need an ice-cream maker, like Michelle – and a rusty, 20-year-old SUV to tackle to snow. Your car sounds awesome! Stay warm…

  3. This is a great flavor combination. I think I eat more ice cream during the winter than I do during the summer, actually, so it’s always good to find a new “wintery-tasting” pairing. And I’ll never get bored of salted caramel anything.

  4. Oh my gosh. Amazing Michelle! I am a sucker for salted caramel and the idea of those boozy roasted pears (brandy “as needed”… ha! ALWAYS needed!) is mouthwatering! Definitely going to try this x

  5. This weather has been rough on both man and machine. Both my car and snowblower broke down during the worst of it. All’s well now but all that means is I’ve no excuse now for not clearing the snow. I, too, found solace in ice cream but none as tasty as the one you prepared. I need to give it a try. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Michelle.

  6. Pingback: 20 Lessons in Domestic Science. | jenny's lark

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