1 cup sugar
3 cups white wine or white grape juice
3 cups water
Zest of 1 orange, in 1 by 3-inch strips
1 cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 slightly underripe Bosc pears, peeled and cored, with stems intact
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Fra Angelico liqueur
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
8 ounces shaved semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream or low-fat frozen yogurt,
softened, for serving.
Belle Hélène Recipe
This classic French recipe stands a poached pear in ice cream topped
with chocolate sauce like a sundae. A low-fat frozen yogurt can also be
used. Use a tall, elegantly shaped, and long-stemmed poaching pear like
To make the poached pears, combine all the ingredients except the pears
in a nonaluminum Dutch oven or soup pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to
dissolve the sugar. Add the peeled pears, stem side up, and simmer for
20 minutes, or until the pears are just tender. (Ripe pears will cook
much quicker.) Remove the pears from the poaching liquid with a slotted
spoon and regfrigerate for at least 2 hours. The poaching liquid can be
stored and reused.
To make the chocolate sauce, bring the cream, liqueur, sugar, and salt
to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and cover.
After 3 minutes, blend in the chocolate until the sauce is smooth. (The
sauce can be prepared several days ahead and chilled.)
To assemble, warm the chocolate sauce, if chilled, over low heat or in
a double boiler. If it is too thick, add a few drops of cream. Place a
large spoonful of vanilla ice cream in each dessert cup. Stand a chilled
pear in the ice cream and spoon the warm chocolate sauce over the pears.
Serve immediately, with your best silver spoons.
Don't miss our other French dessert recipes and original ice-cream recipes!