Who doesn’t love a banana split? I remember when we were first dating Joe and I would often share one for dessert. I like them not too gunked up with sprinkles and the like but hot fudge is a must on my banana split.
Sometimes I am not in the mood for bananas and I looked for other fruit to make into an ice cream duet. One that seems to pair well is the pear! I think a ripe bosc pear is fantastic split in half and made into a modified banana split, sans the banana of course. Other types of pears would work, just make sure they are at the peak of their flavor and texture.
Here is how I do it. Take one large ripe pear, cut it in half and then into quarters. Remove the hard seed area in the fat part of your pear. You can use a melon baller for this process or a sharp paring knife. I lay the pear wedges in my chosen dish. I happen to have a couple of elongated frosted glass dishes with low sides that were made for banana splits.
Top with 2-3 balls of ice cream. I like to use vanilla or vanilla fudge but strawberry is also a great choice and if you are a chocoholic, indulge by all means! Friendly’s makes a fantastic ice cream called “Banana Split” which is three flavors: banana with fudge ripple, chocolate with walnuts folded in and strawberry with flecks of crushed pineapple. I am guessing it would go rather well in my pear split.
I heat up some hot fudge; there are a number of good jarred hot fudges out there. Read the label if you are concerned about GF issues. It would be sad to get sick from such a fantastic dessert. Put a couple of dollops of it on there. I also like a delicate stream of Hershey’s chocolate syrup poured over the top.
If you are a lover of nuts; throw on some lightly salted peanuts or what ever floats your boat! Again, check the label for GF safety.
I don’t generally put whipped cream on it anymore, counting my calories but if you must: whip up some heavy cream, add a spoonful of powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla extract (GF of course) and spoon it on top. I am not a fan of maraschino cherries but put one on if it is important to you!
Note: if your pear is kinda firm you can poach it in some liquid; cider or wine, even cranberry juice; just until soft. Cut in half and remove core and slice and use as the recipe suggests.
The quality of your fruit really matters. Don’t use mushy or hard fruit and if it looks sub par, cut up, cook it and use as a sauce on your ice cream or make it into a cobbler. I wouldn’t use it in this recipe. Same goes for ice cream. Don’t use less than the best. I personally love Turkey Hill, great mouth feel, the sweetness level is where I like it and the flavors are perfect.
I couldn’t take a picture of my first pear split as my camera is missing in action and I didn’t think of using my cell until I had devoured the whole split! This second split (one day later) is okay, it is missing the wonder of hot fudge…I am all out. Bummer, although it was still tasty.
The beauty of this dessert is that you can enjoy some ice cream relatively guilt free as you are having fruit too! Plus, if you are not a banana lover this is a great option for a split. I have even made it with peaches or nectarines in the summertime. Give my pear split a try, why should bananas have all the fun?