Poires Belle Helene (from How To Eat)

Poires Belle Helene (from How To Eat)
Servings: 8 Prep 10 mins Cook 20 mins


  • 4 firm Bartlett pears or other dessert variety (bosc or comice)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Sauce:
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • Crystallized violets (optional)

Make It


1. Peel pears; halve through stem end and core pears; sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent discoloring.

2. In 12-inch skillet, combine water and sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract and pears, cut side down. Spoon some syrup over pears. Cook, covered, 10 minutes. Turn pears over, cut side up. Cook, covered, 10 minutes more or until pears are translucent and knife-tender. Remove from heat; let pears cool in liquid.

Chocolate Sauce:

3. In medium-size heavy-bottom saucepan, combine chocolate, coffee and sugar; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted. Add cream; gently cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

4. To serve, arrange pears, cut-side down, on serving plates. Pour some chocolate sauce over each. Serve with vanilla ice cream and garnish with candied violets, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 8; Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 401, Fat, total (g): 20, chol. (mg): 41, sat. fat (g): 12, carb. (g): 54, fiber (g): 4, pro. (g): 5, sodium (mg): 57, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.