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Poached Seckel Pear with Pomegranate, Cabrales Cheese, and Szechuan Pepper Ice Cream

['3 cups (750 g/26.4 oz) whole milk', '1 cup plus 1 Tbsp (250 g/8.8 oz) heavy cream', '3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp (20 g/0.7 oz) Szechuan peppercorns', '8 1/2 large (160 g/5.6 oz) egg yolks', '3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (180 g/6.3 oz) granulated sugar', '4 cups (1 kg/2.2 lb) pomegranate juice', '3 to 5 turns freshly ground black pepper', '8 Seckel pears, peeled (you will core them after they are poached)', '2 cups (500 g/17.6 oz) poaching liquid from Poached Pears with Pomegranate', '8 3/4 Tbsp (125 g/4.4 oz) unsalted butter', '1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp (125 g/4.4 oz) granulated sugar', '1 1/3 cups (125 g/4.4 oz) almond flour', '2 large (100 g/3.5 oz) eggs', '1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp (10 g/0.35 oz) all-purpose flour', '4 oz (113 g) Cabrales cheese, cut into eight 1/2-inch-thick slices', 'ice cream machine; pepper mill; 9-inch square baking pan; 2-inch-long by 1-inchwide diamond-shaped pastry cutter']

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and peppercorns and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and allow to infuse for 20 minutes.
2. Strain the milk mixture and return it to the saucepan. Reheat until the mixture just begins to boil. Remove from the heat.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar vigorously until pale. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks, then return this mixture to the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon and reaches 175°F (79°C) on an instant-read thermometer; do not let the mixture boil, or the egg yolks will curdle. Remove the pot from the heat. Pass the ice cream base through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Set the bowl in an ice bath and stir frequently until cold. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the ice cream base for at least 4 hours.
4. Process the base in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions (be careful not to overchurn the ice cream or it will become grainy). Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice and black pepper to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pears and reduce the heat to medium-low. Poach the pears in the simmering juice until tender, about 15 minutes. Cool completely at room temperature.
2. Transfer the pears, still in the liquid, to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Pour the poaching liquid in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil the liquid until it has reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Pass the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and cool.
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy and well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the almond flour and mix until blended. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the flour and mix until blended. Scrape the almond mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.
3. Using a 2-inch-long by 1-inch-wide diamond-shaped pastry cutter, cut out 8 diamonds of baked almond cream. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Cut each Poached Pear with Pomegranate in half crosswise and remove the cores from the bottom halves. Place each pear bottom standing up on a plate and top with a slice of Cabrales cheese. Replace the pear tops. Glaze the pears with some of the Pomegranate Sauce, letting some of the sauce drip onto the plates. Place a Baked Almond Diamond on each plate and top with a scoop of Szechuan Pepper Ice Cream.

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