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Poached Pears with Chocolate

© JACQUES & COMPANY 2011

Strawberry Shortcakes • Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie • Comice Pears • Poached Pears with Chocolate • Cherry Clafoutis • Mama's E-Z Cake • Tiramisù • Julie's Lemon Blueberry Biscuits • Banana Walnut Bread • Riz au Lait • Gâteau Financière • Poires et Sauce au Chocolat • Floating Island Meringues

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Makes 4 servings

4 whole Bartlett or Bosc Pears, ripe (very important)

6 cups water

3 cups sugar

1 whole lemon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup whipping cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, in pieces

To make the pear poaching syrup, combine in a 4 quarts saucepan, the water, sugar, vanilla extract, the peel from the lemon ( removed with a potato peeler), and its juice. Bring to a boil and simmer while prepping the pears.

Peel the pears with a potato peeler.  Slice the bottom of each pear flat, so it can stand upright.  Scoop out the inside of each pear though the bottom with a melon baller to remove the core and seeds.

Place the pears in the simmering syrup and poach them for 3 to 5 minutes  until they can be pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove the poached pears from the syrup.  Cook the syrup uncovered at a rapid boil and reduce by half. Pour the heavy syrup over the pears and save until ready to serve.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan (but not boiling).  Add the chocolate pieces and stir until smooth.

Pour a pool of warm chocolate sauce on the bottom of the dessert plates, and  place a poached pear in the center. Decorate with a sprig of mint and/or three hazelnut-sized ice cream balls.

Wine Suggestion: A sweet Muscat or Tawny port wine.

 

 

 

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