Poire Belle Hélène
Serves: 4
If you do not poach the pears immediately after peeling them, they should be fully immersed in cold water acidulated with a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice or a couple of teaspoons of citric acid powder per quart of water to prevent them from turning brown, which happens rapidly. Discard that water and use fresh water and only lemon juice, not citric acid, for poaching the pears.
  • 4 firm medium-size pears (Bartlett or other dessert variety)
  • Juice and zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice-cream, more to taste
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  1. Peel the pears. Halve and core them and put them in a heavy non-reactive saucepan, best if large enough to fit the pears in one single layer. Add just enough water to cover and the lemon juice and zest. Cover the pan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are soft enough to pierce easily with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size and softness of the pears. Transfer the pears with a slotted spoon to a bowl and let cool. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve.
  2. Melt the chocolate over very low heat. Add a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid and stir until smooth. The amount of cooking liquid depends on how thick you would like the sauce.
  3. Put one scoop vanilla ice-cream or more to taste into each dessert bowl. Top with two pear halves and spoon some of the warm chocolate sauce over it.
Recipe by Weavers Orchard at https://www.weaversorchard.com/european-pear-recipes/