Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
I love making desserts w/fresh fruits, esp pears. This lovely dish is best served warm, so a special family dinner or an informal dinner party where you can be excused from your guests to manage the finishing touches would be ideal. The recipe source is my "CHOCOLATE" cookbook by Christine McFadden & Christine France. (Have never timed myself fixing this & the prep/cooking times overlap a lot, so times are my best estimate.)
FOR THE PEARS
- 6 small pears (ripe)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 7 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate (broken into pieces)
- Peel pears (leaving stems attached), scoop out cores from the base & cut a slice from the non-stem end of the pears so they will stand when served. Brush all cut surfaces w/lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
- Put sugar & water in a lrg saucepan. Heat gently till the sugar dissolves. Add pears & the cinnamon stick w/any remaining lemon juice. If necessary, add more water so the pears are almost covered.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, cover pan & simmer pears gently for 15-20 min or til they are just tender when pierced w/a skewer.
- While pears are poaching, make sauce. Place cream, sugar, butter, corn syrup & milk in a heavy saucepan. Heat gently till the sugar has dissolved & the butter & syrup have melted. Then bring the sauce to a boil.
- Boil (stirring constantly) for about 5 min or till the sauce is thick. Remove from heat & stir in the chocolate (a few squares at a time) till melted & set aside.
- When pears are finished poaching, remove cinnamon stick, use a slotted spoon to transfer pears to a dish & keep warm.
- Boil poaching liquid rapidly to reduce to a syrup of about 4 tablespoons Then stir the syrup into the chocolate sauce.
- Place pears in individual bowls, pour the sauce evenly over the 6 pears & serve immediately.
- NOTE: If you prefer to do all the prep ahead & serve cold, chill pears well & dip the bottom half of ea pear in the sauce by carefully holding the stem end or by using a fork. You'll get a "true" basket effect doing this. You can also create a scalloped effect by tilting them slightly in the sauce at intervals. If you work fast & want to get more fancy, affix slivered almonds to the edges of the chocolate sauce.
Poached pears is one of my favorite desserts!! I messed up the sauce a bit - I added the chocolate with everything else & boiled it just the same but it didn't thicken as I thought it would. I also didn't reduce the poaching liquid - got anxious to eat, lol. I reduced it some & added the 4TB or so. YUMYUMYUM. Reminds me of Belle Helene, basically a pear hot fudge sundae that I had in Paris last summer. Silly me, I added vanilla ice cream that melted instantly under the sauce. The cinnamon came through VERY nicely! Thank you for a fantabulous dessert!! Made for the 4/08 Aussie Swap. ETA: the sauce thickened wonderfully as it cooled. I did reduce the simple syrup & added it to the chocolate sauce. We are drowning in drool. I served some over roasted pineaapple the other day, too. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!