© JACQUES & COMPANY 2011
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.