Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Poires Helene

It's kind of unusual that I chose pears to make a dessert out of recently. In terms of fruit, they've never been my favorite. I tend to prefer the apple or some type of berry. Yet, there they were - a crate at the market stuffed full of beautiful Bosc pears, seducing patrons right and left with their long stems and dark, autumnal skins. I bought some, even though I didn't really know what I wanted to do with them.

As you may know, anything tastes better when covered in chocolate. Over Thanksgiving weekend I reminisced with my family over how my sister and I used to take giant spoons out of the kitchen drawer, fill them with Hershey's syrup and lick them clean as kids. Gross? Perhaps... but to us it was an unbelievable treat. So, when I came across a recipe in Julia Child's bible "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", I decided I'd found the perfect use for my pears: Poires Helene. Aka, poached pears covered in chocolate sauce. I changed the recipe quite a bit - so this is definitely a bastardized version of Ms. Child's mastery... I had to alter it to fit what I had on hand.

I'd never poached a pear before, and the only one I'd ever eaten was poached in red wine, so this was a definitely new territory. They turned out great - although, I could have perhaps poached them a tiny bit longer... I was so worried about them being mushy, but Bosc pears seem to hold up better than their Bartlett cousins. My taste tester (aka Josh, the picky dessert eater) ate his entire plate full, which means he liked it... alot. (He doesn't hesistate to make sour faces when he doesn't like something and he certainly doesn't ever finish something that he doesn't like. Some may think that rude, but I actually appreciate it because then I know what truly works and what doesn't!)

If chocolate covered anything sounds good to you, or if you're a Francophile, or if you just think pears look pretty, I think you'll like this dessert... Technically, they should be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as well, but we decided to just pile on more chocolate.

Poires Helene (serves 2)

2 ripe Bosc pears
1/2 lemon
1/2 quart water
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon-sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 T. butter

In a saucepan, bring water, vanilla, sugar and juice of lemon to a boil. Peel pears and half lengthwise, removing seeds and core. Place in saucepan, return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Poach 30 minutes or until tender.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring constantly.

When the pears are ready, remove and plate them. I sliced mine, but you can certainly leave yours whole. Top with a sprinking of cinnamon-sugar, and then drizzle with chocolate. (Add a scoop of ice cream first if you like.)


far said...

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Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda,

My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at Foodbuzz.com. Following up on a recent email invitation to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I just want to reiterate that the Foodbuzz team loves reading your posts and would be very excited to have you become a part of our blogging community. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at Shannon@foodbuzz.com.

Pears and Chocolate...sounds and looks good.


Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant, Foodbuzz.com

Private Chef said...

Hi there

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Alisa said...

Hello Amanda, you are so right! For me fruits and berries are just so perfect with chocolates. Im not really good in the kitchen but I know you are. If you have time will you drop by at Foodista ? We are building an online food and cooking encyclopedia ala wikipedia and i hope you can build your profile there share your recipes with us as well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. Sounds terrific!

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Takeaways said...

Pears and chocolate are BFFs! You know we hollowed out the middle after boiling and then poored the chocolate into it making them look like little pear vulcanos.. yum yum!

John said...

It looks very goods
I'll definitely to come back to your blog again.

Caleb said...

I found your food blog going through a few links. Glad I ran into it. Didn’t know that the food blog/recipe community was so big online. I love your posts!

I was wondering if you would like to exchange links. I’ll drop yours on my site and you drop mine on yours. Email at ramendays@yahoo.com or stop by my site and drop a comment. Let me know if you would like to do a link exchange.


trexni said...

looks delicious, nice recipe

Belly Fat Women said...

That's great! Super yummy :)

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Amy B. said...

Good news! As a food blogging enthusiast myself, I would like to spread the news. I'm thinking you might be interested in joining this year's International Food Blogger Conference on August 27-29, an event organised by Foodista. There are sponsorships offered for interested but financially-challenged food bloggers! For more information, check this page out.

Hope to see you there! Keep on blogging. :-)

Amy B. said...

Good news! Foodista is inviting you to attend this year's International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle on August 27-29! There also are sponsorships offered that you can take advantage of! For more information, check this page out.

Hope to see you there! Keep on blogging. :-)

rental elf said...

Very nice, thanks for the information.

food courts said...

That sounds like a fantastic idea.

rachel neil said...

Hi, My name is Rachel:
I really love your blog, I'll be trying out your recipes in the near future.
I was wondering if you'd like to do a link exchange.
here's my site:
http://itsmadefromscratch.blogspot.com (food)

thank you for your time
(Send e-mail to)
Rachel Neil
RE: Link Exchange
Please include your URL in the e-mail for me to link to.

Kelli - Dinnerware said...

Yum Yum! I can't wait to try this one at home.

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