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    Poire Belle-Hélène With Ripe English Comice Pears

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    Poire Belle-Hélène With Ripe English Comice Pears

    The classic French dessert Poire Belle-Hélène, named after the 1864 Offenbach operetta, makes a wonderful sweet treat for the family.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 35 minutes 35 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 4 English Comice pears, ripe but still firm
    • For the chocolate sauce
    • ½ x 200g bar Waitrose Continental Plain Chocolate
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 3 tbsp golden syrup
    • 4 tbsp milk


    1. Pour 1.5 litres cold water in to a medium saucepan, and add the vanilla and sugar. Stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
    2. Peel the pears, leaving the stalk intact, and cut a sliver from the base to allow the fruit to stand up in the pan. Place the pears in the liquid, adding a little more, if needed, to ensure the pears are fully submerged. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Test that the pears are tender by piercing with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain well and discard the poaching liquid. When the pears have cooled a little, remove the cores using an apple corer or small, sharp knife.
    3. Make the sauce by placing all the ingredients in a small saucepan and melting slowly over a gentle heat. Stir occasionally until everything has melted and formed a glossy sauce.
    4. Serve the pears warm with the chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.

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    Cook's tips

    If time is short use canned pears and Waitrose Belgian Chocolate Sauce. Removing the cores when the pears are cooked is easier than with raw pears.

    Drinks recommendation

    A delicious red dessert wine is excellent with dark chocolate.


    Average user rating

    4 stars