Lemongrass Poached Pears with Lychee and Coconut Ice Cream
This delicious vegan ice cream is my take on an ice cream I ate in Thailand. Of course, it's not always easy to find fresh lychees in Ireland but you can get cans of them in Asian supermarkets, which work well. Otherwise, you can substitute them with pears or other fruit of your choice.
YOU WILL NEED
Ice cream 100g raw cashew nuts
1 can coconut milk
1 can lychees (230g)
125ml agave syrup
Juice of 1 lime Poached pears 4 pears
2 stalks fresh lemongrass
300ml apple juice
5g arrowroot or corn starch
Coconut flakes and mint leaves to garnish
1 Soak the cashew nuts for at least an hour. Drain them then combine in a blender with the remaining ice-cream ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. If you have an ice-cream maker you can freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions; otherwise, pour the mixture into a container with a lid and put it into the freezer. Leave it for several hours to set, stirring every once in a while in the first few hours.
2While the ice cream is setting, you can prepare your poached pears. Peel the pears and cut them in half, scooping out the seeds with a small spoon. Remove the outer leaves of the lemongrass and bruise each stalk with either the side of your knife or a pestle -- this helps to release its flavour.
3Put the pears into a large pan with the apple juice and the lemongrass, making sure the lemongrass is immersed in the juice. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for five to seven minutes.
4Remove the pears and continue to simmer the juice until it has reduced by half. Dissolve the arrowroot or corn starch in a little cold water or juice and add to the juice, stirring until it thickens up a bit. Set the pears and glaze aside to cool.
5Lightly toast the coconut flakes on a pan and set aside. Serve two pieces of poached pear per person, drizzled with the glaze and sprinkled with the toasted coconut, alongside a scoop of the ice cream. Garnish with mint leaves.