|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16g||21%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||49%|
|Total Carbohydrate 189g||69%|
|Dietary Fiber 10g||34%|
|Total Sugars 154g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||25%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Few desserts come more classic than this delightful Poires Belle Helene. The dish is essentially poached pears with a chocolate sauce but certainly sounds so much more enticing with its beautiful enticing French name.
The dessert was reputably invented by the godfather of haute cuisine, Auguste Escoffier in Paris in the 19th century and purportedly named after the opera, La Belle Helen (the beautiful Helen) by Offenbach.
Without a doubt, the ease of preparation and beautiful presentation make this dish a stunning dessert for a dinner party, which is bound to impress but is equally impressive at any meal. What is not to love about pears, chocolate and ice cream; heaven in the bowl.
"Such an elegant dessert that you can prepare the day before. The chocolate sauce and ice cream kick it up to the next level, but the pears are delicious all by themselves. Save the pear-flavored simple syrup. It's wonderful in tea!" —Diana Andrews
2 cinnamon sticks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups water, divided
4 firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored from the bottom (see below), preferably with stems
8 small scoops vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup chocolate sauce, for drizzling
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Combine cinnamon sticks, sugar, and 1/2 cup of water in a medium saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, undisturbed, until the sugar melts and the mixture becomes syrupy and turns golden, about 10 minutes.
Turn heat to low. Gently whisk in remaining 2 cups water.
Add the pears to the syrup. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat, gently turning in the syrup frequently until the pears are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Test for doneness with a knife by pricking in the thickest part of the fruit. The pears are poached when they are just cooked through, but not completely soft. Be careful not to overcook or the pears will collapse.
Let the pears cool in the syrup, turning occasionally until they are room temperature. Lift pears carefully from pan with a slotted spoon.
Serve with 2 small scoops of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
How to Core a Pear
Lay the pear on its side. Using a sharp knife, take a thin slice from the base of the pear; this will expose the core and also create a flat surface on the base.
Take a paring or vegetable knife and very carefully cut tight in and around the core (keep as close as you can to the core so as not to spoil the fruit or risk breaking through).
The core should come away easily. If not, use a teaspoon to scoop it out.
Which Pears to Use for Poire Belle Helene
Choose firm but not overripe, unblemished pears making sure the stem is still intact. A favorite is the Bosc pear, which has smooth, even skin and shape, making it easier to peel.