Pears Belle Helene

"New from the Kitchen"
Recipe of the Month - October 2008

Desserts: Pears Belle Helene

For another recipe using this poached pears method, see the recipe in the cookbook section, Poached Pears with Amaretto Cream.

1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 small firm pears such as Bosc, cored from bottom with stem left intact
7 oz of dark chocolate
2 tablespoons sour cream
Toasted pecans (optional)

In a medium-sized, nonreactive saucepan, combine the wine, water, bay leaf, lemon zest, 1/2 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pears. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Baste the pears with the liquid several times during cooking. Transfer the pears with a slotted spoon to a plate to cool. Cut the chocolate into small squares and place in small heavy sauce pan with 4 tablespoons of pear juice from poaching. Melt over low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until smooth. The chocolate should not stick to the pan. Add the sour cream to the chocolate. Stand each pear on a plate and put a scoop of ice cream beside it, drizzle the warm chocolate sauce over the top and sprinkle with crumbled toasted pecans.