Poire Belle Helene recipe

On page 187, Lenore (Lost Feast) decides to make Dan a poached pear with chocolate drizzle. I asked Lenore if she had a recipe for this delectable treat and this was her reply:

It was recipe 4685 in Escoffier's Guide Culinaire, invented in 1864 and named after a popular operetta. I don’t really follow a recipe, but a rough one is below:

Poach four whole peeled pears in a simple syrup using enough water to cover the pears and about a half cup of sugar and a squeeze of lemon- bring to a simmering boil. Classic versions add cinnamon sticks and cloves, I prefer a used vanilla pod if I have one handy. Remove when tender- about thirty minutes depending on the ripeness of the pears. Prepare a chocolate sauce using a good dark chocolate- melt in a double boiler with a little unsalted butter and a dash of warm cream. Serve over the pears and a large scoop of a good vanilla ice cream. Escoffier used candiedviolets as a garnish- if you have them, they add a nice splash of colour.

Content used with permission by author Lenore Newman, Lost Feast.

Nada’s Tips & Tricks:

Here’s an ingredient list for the above recipe:

4 pears (Bosc works well)

½ cup sugar

Lemon – one squeeze

Choice of cinnamon stick, cloves or vanilla pod

Dark chocolate

Unsalted butter

Warm cream

Vanilla ice cream

If you don’t have the vanilla pod or cinnamon sticks, the liquid/powder will do in a pinch. I used milk chocolate because the grandkids don’t like the darker bitter chocolate.