Members' Recipes Archive

October 2008
Roasted pears stuffed with dates and walnuts served with goats’ cheese ice cream
Louisa Carter

Roasted pears stuffed with dates and walnuts served with goats’ cheese ice cream

By: Louisa Carter

Serves: 4

This month’s recipe and image come from Louisa Carter. Louisa has recently left her day job as the producer of BBC Food to focus full-time on food photography and writing.

Having worked as a chef and barista before training as a journalist, Louisa's passion for fresh, simple, affordable cooking was largely inspired by her years living in Sydney. There she discovered that local, seasonal ingredients could be transformed into beautiful, flavoursome dishes without costing the earth.

Roasted pears stuffed with dates and walnuts served with goats’ cheese ice cream photographed by Louisa Carter

This cosy autumn dish combines floral-scented pears with a rich and earthy walnut stuffing. The accompanying goats' cheese ice cream brings a satisfying tang to the table, a flavour not dissimilar to that of the cream cheese frosting on a carrot cake.


Roasted pears stuffed with dates and walnuts
4 medium pears, as ripe as possible
150g/5¼ oz walnut halves, freshly ground, plus 8 walnut halves, roughly chopped
45g/1½ oz pitted dried dates, chopped
1 lemon, zest only
3 tbsp Demerara sugar
pinch sea salt
75g/2½ oz unsalted butter
1 large orange, juice and zest only

Goats' cheese ice cream
Serves 4-6 (most domestic ice cream makers can cope with double the quantities below, should you want to make a more substantial batch). This ice cream also goes well with caramelised walnuts.

100ml/3½ fl oz double cream
150ml/5¼ fl oz whole milk
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
2 large egg yolks
60g/2¼ oz golden caster sugar
100g/3½ oz fresh mild soft goats' cheese


Roasted pears stuffed with dates and walnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4.
2. For the stuffing, place the ground walnuts, chopped dates, lemon zest, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix together. Melt the butter and stir into the walnut mixture to form a rough paste.
3. Cut the pears in half lengthways and remove the cores, leaving the stems intact if you wish.
4. Place the pears, cut-side-up, into a baking dish and pour over the orange juice.
5. Divide the stuffing between the pears, spooning it into the cavities. Sprinkle with the additional chopped walnuts and orange zest.
6. Bake in the oven for about half an hour, basting the pears with the juices once or twice during cooking (you may need to add a splash more orange juice or water if the cooking juices are running dry). Once cooked, the pears should be tender but still holding their shape, the orange juice syrupy, and the stuffing golden brown.
7. Serve warm with a scoop of goats' cheese ice cream or double cream.

Goats' cheese ice cream
1. Heat the cream and milk in a pan with the vanilla pod and seeds until almost boiling. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
2. Whisk the eggs yolks and the sugar together in a bowl until pale and thick.
3. Remove the vanilla pod from the cream and gradually pour the warm cream over the egg yolks, whisking continuously.
4. Return the mixture to the pan and heat gently, stirring continuously, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
5. Place the goats' cheese into a heatproof bowl. Strain the custard through a fine sieve over the goats' cheese and stir together gently until the goats' cheese has melted into the custard.
6. Allow the mixture to cool completely then churn in an ice cream machine until frozen. (Alternatively place the mixture in a shallow plastic container and freeze for six hours, whisking the ice cream with a hand whisk every two hours.)
7. Remove from the freezer ten minutes before serving. Serve with the stuffed pears.

© Recipe copyright 2008 Louisa Carter.


Author: Louisa Carter Email:

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