Servings: Serves 8
To make ice cream: In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, sugar, half-and-half, lemon juice and salt until blended. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into mixture and whisk until blended. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about one hour, or overnight.
Freeze sour cream mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. In the meantime, place an 8-cup storage container in freezer. When ice cream is done, scoop into container and freeze at least four hours, or overnight, until solid.
To make compote: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar and cinnamon stick, if using. Cook, stirring frequently, until sugar mixture turns caramel color, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a long-handled spoon, carefully stir in brandy and lemon juice (mixture will spatter). Add pears and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until pears are tender and juices thicken slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and discard cinnamon stick.
To serve, scoop about 1/2 cup ice cream into each of eight dessert bowls and top with warm pear compote.
From the July 2006 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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