This dessert is all about asian pears and parsnips.  Parsnips is not typically an ingredient you think of when it comes to desserts, but it does lend itself to some great flavor combinations.  Someone had sent us a case of asian pears to the family, so I had about 24 total.  There was no way we were going to eat all of them before they went bad so I wanted to make something different with them.    My first thought was an asian pear soup.  Now, sometimes I just like to make things with ingredients I have on hand and then work a dish around those ingredients.  In this case I didn't just come up with this entire dish in one brain storming session.  I had a few components to the dish already made and then added to them to complete the dish.  I had green tea ice cream I had made about a week earlier and this seemed like the perfect fit for a comprised dessert.  I have made a carrot apple cake before and I thought of just replacing those items with parsnips and pears.  It really turned out moist and delicious.  I also wanted to add another cold item with a different texture than ice cream so I thought of a parfait.  This parfait is a lot different then the layered cake in a bowl parfait.  This consists of whipped cream, whipped egg whites, gelatin, and in this case sweetened parsnips.  I finished the dish with by taking some of the pears and drying them in the dehydrator to sweeten them up and give a little crunch to the dish.  This dish had lots of flavors and textures going on and each bite you seem to get a little something different.  This was really a hit with everyone.   Here is the recipe

Matcha green tea Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cup heavy cream

4 egg yolks

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp of vanilla 

5 tbsp of matcha green tea powder

5 tbsp of hot water

Parsnip lemon parfait

230 g parsnip 1 very large parsnip diced small

1/2 lemon juiced

1/3 cup of sugar

1/2 vanilla bean

3 cups water

Pinch salt

1 lemon juiced 1/2 zested

Vanilla bean

2 tsp beef gelatin

8 oz heavy cream

1/2 cup powder sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg whites

1/4 tsp cream tartar

1/4 cup sugar 

Parsnip-Asian Pear Cake

3 1/4 cup of flour

2 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp cinnamon 

1 tsp of nutmeg

3 cups of sugar

1 cup of coconut oil melted

4 eggs

1/3 cup of milk

2 cups of blanched grated parnsips (1 large parsnip

1 1/2 cups of diced- peeled asian pears

1 tsp of lemon juice

2 tsp of vanilla

Dehydrated Pear chips

1 asian pear sliced thin

Pear- Parsnip Soup

3 asian pears peeled and cut into 4 large pieces

1 large parsnip peeled and sliced

4 cups of water

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1/3 cup of white wine

1/3 cup of sugar

1 lemon juiced

pinch of salt

Sliced Asian pears

Thai basil leaves and flowers

For the Asian pear chips

Simply take your thin slices of pear and place them on racks in the food dehydrator ( you can trim the sides to make an even chip).  Set the dehydrator to 135 degrees and let it run over night or until they are completely dried.  Take out and place in an air tight container until ready to use.

For the Pear Parsnip Soup

Peel pears and cut around the core in four pieces.  Then place all the ingredients into a pressure cooker. Place the lid on top and bring to high pressure and cook for 8 minutes.  Let the pressure release naturally as you work on another part of the recipe.  Later when the pressure has been released take the lid off and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise.  Strain off the liquid and reserve.  Place the parsnip and pears into a blender.  Puree until smooth and add some of the liquid back into the blender until you have smooth, light, soup like consistency.  Adjust the season with salt, sugar, or lemon juice until you have the flavor that is right to your liking.  Set in an ice bath to chill.

For the Matcha Ice Cream,

Steep matcha powder in hot water and set aside.  

Place the egg yolks in a stand mixer and turn on medium speed.  Slowly pour in your sugar.  Whip for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Place in a small pot, milk and cream.  Bring the mixture slowly to a boil and turn off.  With a ladle, temper your eggs by ladling a little of the milk mixture into the eggs, until you have about half of your milk mixture mixed in the eggs. Then take the mixing bowl with the egg mixture and pour back into the pot of milk mixture using a spatula to scrape the sides.  Turn the heat back on low and stir for about 5 minutes and then turn off.  Strain off into a bowl inside an ice bath to cool down fast.  Then with a whisk add your matcha paste and allow the mixture to cool completely.  Then place the custard base into your ice cream maker and use according to your ice cream makers instructions.  After the ice cream is finished place in a container in the freezer.

For Parnsip Parfait,

Take the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into a small ramekin and set aside.  Then add the vanilla bean along with the  parsnips, sugar, 1/2 lemon juice, water, and pinch of salt in a small pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover.   Cook for about 20 minutes on low heat until the parsnips are completely cooked ( you might have to add a little water to the pot).  Take the lid off and discard the vanilla bean.   If there is a lot of liquid left in the pot strain it off and reserve.  If there is just a little bit of liquid that looks like a glaze or simple syrup pour all of the ingredients into a food processor.  Add the vanilla bean seeds you scrapped earlier and puree until smooth.  Let the processor run for about a minute, adding a little of the cooking liquid if it is too dry (You should add just enough liquid to make smooth but not runny).  Add the additional lemon juice and zest.  Then stop scrape the sides and taste.  Should be sweet, with flavors of lemon and vanilla with touches of earthiness from the parsnip.  Turn the mixture on again to allow some of the heat to escape.  Finish by add the beef gelatin and pureeing for another minute.  Then scape the puree into a large bowl and spread thin if the mixture is still really hot.  

In a stand mixer place heavy whipping cream and beat until soft peaks, then add your powdered sugar and vanilla.  Keep whipping until the peaks have just reached stiff peaks.  Once the parsnip has cooled to room temperature fold the whipping cream into the parsnip mixture a little at a time.

Then clean your bowl and place your egg whites in the mixing bowl.  Add cream of tartar and start whipping on high.  When the egg whites start to reach soft peaks slowly add your sugar.  Keep whisking until the egg whites reach stiff peaks.  Then fold in your egg whites into the parsnip/whipped cream mixture until fully combined.    The pour the ingredients into a baking dish, smooth with a pastry spatular and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For the Parsnip cake

Take the dry ingredients and mix together in a large bowl.  Then take milk, vanilla, lemon juice, eggs, and coconut oil and mix together well.  Add your parnsips and pears to the flour and then mix in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Mix until just incorporated.  Then place the batter onto a sprayed half sheet pan or one lined with parchment paper and spread evenly.  Cook for 18-20 minutes in the oven until a toothpick comes out clean.  Set aside to cool

To finish take a round cutter and cut a circular piece of parfait out.  Place in a shallow bowl.  Take a knife and cut a small square of parsnip cake and stand it up on its side.  Then add 2 ladles of soup around the bowl.  Finish the dessert with a pear chip on top of the parfait, a scoop of match tea ice cream, thai basil leaves and a slice of raw asian pear.  Serve and enjoy

Comment