Yancey Figpen and Pear Sorbet

It seems summer has come to an end, which is a bummer, but it also means football is right around the corner. I decided I should break out the ice cream maker one more time this Labor Day weekend before summer is officially over.

At work on Friday, my boss brought me a container full of figs from the tree in his yard. I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to use them. Fig and prociutto pizza is a favorite of mine, but by the time I got around to using the figs on Sunday, they were way too ripe to bake on a pizza - but perfect for sorbet! 

To be quite honest, I wasn't initially sold on the fig sorbet idea myself. Figs are sweet but can be bland and aren't everyone's cup of tea. I did a quick search to see what other flavors or fruit might pair well and found this handy flavor cheat sheet

After consulting the list, I decided to churn out a sorbet with figs, pears and cinnamon. I know it's totally the wrong season for it, but this sorbet tastes just like Christmas to me. I think it's the cinnamon (and the pears). It actually tastes a lot like the cranberry, pear and cinnamon fruit salad that Kathy makes on Christmas Eve. Either way, it's sweet, refreshing and delicious. 

Before we get to the recipe, I ought to introduce you to Yancey Thigpen. Wide receiver for the Steelers from 1992-1997. Thigpen was a Pro Bowler in the 1995 and 1997 seasons, making both appearances as a Steeler. Thigpen was instrumental in the Steelers' journey to Super Bowl XXX and caught Neil O'Donnell's only touchdown pass in the game. Yancey Thigpen was awarded "Best Professional Football Name In Last 50 Years" in the 2010 ESPY awards (nowadays, I think Barkevious Mingo could give him a run for his money in that category) and his name is rife with possibility for puns - look for my next Thigpen recipe during the regular season. Let's make some Figpen and Pear Sorbet! 

Yancey Figpen and Pear Sorbet
A Stiller Nation Snacks N'at Original

2 medium Bartlett pears, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup ripe figs, stems removed
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Stir together water, sugar and corn syrup in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Stir in cinnamon, vanilla, then figs and pears. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few minutes, then carefully transfer mixture to the canister of food processor. Pulse the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency (I don't like it completely smooth). Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. (You don't want it frozen, but it will churn faster if it's already cold.)

Prepare sorbet following the instructions on your sorbet or ice cream maker. I typically go through two bags of ice whenever I make sorbet or ice cream. I let the machine churn for about an hour and a half before it was finished. Transfer sorbet back to a bowl or freezer-safe container, cover and freeze for 4-6 hours. 

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