Poires Belle-Hélène

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This classic recipe of poached pears in chocolate sauce was invented in the nineteenth century and named after a famous operetta. It used to be served with crystallized violets, but you can use sliced almonds.

Difficulty: Easy

Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 pears, peeled
  • 4.5 oz. dark chocolate, at least 66% cocoa
  • ½ cup crème fraîche or whipping cream
  • 4 Tbsp. sliced almonds

Directions

  • Fill a large saucepan with 4 cups of cold water. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Slice the vanilla pod lengthwise, and add it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add pears to the boiling water, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. When the pears have cooled down, take them out with a slotted spoon and reserve. Increase the heat under the saucepan to high, and boil until the sweetened water has reduced by ¾. Then take the vanilla pod out, use a teaspoon to scrape the seeds out, put the seeds back in the saucepan, and discard the pod.
  • Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces if it’s not chocolate chips. Put in the saucepan containing the reduced sugar syrup, and lower the heat to medium-low. Stir continuously as you add the crème fraîche, until the chocolate mixture is combined.
  • Serve in individual bowls. First put the pear in the bowl, then pour warm chocolate sauce over it, and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.

Recipe Information

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 pears, peeled
  • 4.5 oz. dark chocolate, at least 66% cocoa
  • ½ cup crème fraîche or whipping cream
  • 4 Tbsp. sliced almonds

Directions

  • Fill a large saucepan with 4 cups of cold water. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Slice the vanilla pod lengthwise, and add it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add pears to the boiling water, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. When the pears have cooled down, take them out with a slotted spoon and reserve. Increase the heat under the saucepan to high, and boil until the sweetened water has reduced by ¾. Then take the vanilla pod out, use a teaspoon to scrape the seeds out, put the seeds back in the saucepan, and discard the pod.
  • Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces if it’s not chocolate chips. Put in the saucepan containing the reduced sugar syrup, and lower the heat to medium-low. Stir continuously as you add the crème fraîche, until the chocolate mixture is combined.
  • Serve in individual bowls. First put the pear in the bowl, then pour warm chocolate sauce over it, and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Information
Amount per serving
Calories430
Total Fat25g
Saturated Fat15g
Cholesterol40mg
Sodium25mg
Total Carbohydrate50g
Dietary Fiber5g
Sugars38g
Protein5g