Poire Belle Helene

Poire Belle Helene - Bruno Albouze - THE REAL DEAL

Poire Belle Helene Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings (1.5 pears per person).

Spicy Piloncillo Syrup
1.5 qt (1.5L) water
1.5 cup (300g) piloncillo or dark muscovado sugar*
2 ea. cinnamon sticks
4 ea. star anise
2 ea. vanilla beans, opened
1/2 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed and chopped or 1/2 lemon
1 ea. orange zest
1 ea. cloves
1 Tbsp (20g) fresh ginger, unpeeled and chopped.

6 ea. pears such as Bartlett (William) / Seckel / Bosc / Anjou / Forelle…
Look for small or medium size firm or hard unripe pears with no bruises or cuts and with stems that are in place.

*Dark Muscovado or Piloncillo sugar are both caramely-rich unrefined brown sugar with a strong molasses content and flavor. The name Piloncillo refers to the traditional cone shape in which the sugar is produced. It is also known as panela and panocha. No need to cut it; it will melt in the hot liquid. As a result, the brown sugar will darken the fruit – To keep pear’s original color; substitute brown sugar for white sugar.
Precooking syrup brings out flavor. Place all ingredients except the pears into a large saucepan. Bring to boil and let simmer 30 minutes. Turn heat off. Immerse peeled, bottoms trimmed and cored pears immediately into the hot syrup to prevent from browning. Cover with a round parchment in contact to unsure a complete immersion. Bring back to boil and poach pears 35 minutes on low heat (some pear varieties as Bartlett requires less cooking time though). Turn heat off and let pears to cool to room temperature in the syrup. Chilled overnight or up to 3 days. Drain pears over paper towels. The syrup can be reused to poach more pears in needed. Save some syrup for the chocolate sauce.

Warm Chocolate Sauce

1/4 cup (50ml) drained piloncillo syrup
0.8 cup (200ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (100g) unsweetened cocoa powder.

Bring all ingredients to a boil, blend and drain. Gently tap the jars on the countertop to remove any air bubbles. Serve warm. The chocolate sauce can be refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen for weeks.

Cream Cheese Mousse / There will be more than you need!
4 ounces (120g) cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tbsp (35g) powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean, scrape out seeds or 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream, chilled.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla using the paddle attachment first for about 3 minutes on medium high speed. Pour in heavy cream and continue beating for 2 minutes more. Stop the mixing and swap out the paddle for the whisk attachment. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat for about 30 seconds on high speed to smooth it out.

Poached pears can be served as is or lightly stuffed with vanilla cream cheese mousse, whipped cream or ice cream. Spoon or pipe out cream cheese mousse inside 4 pears and place them in the freezer 30 minutes to set (save the 2 remaining pears to cut out for garnishing).
Brush out some warm chocolate sauce on plates. Place a stuffed pear in the center along with a couple of pear wedges.

Optional: Add 3 fully ripened kumquat halves and 1 double chocolate chips cookie per plate (watch Double Chocolate Chip Cookies video). Decorate with a star anise, dried vanilla pod and gold leaf if desired.
Pour warm chocolate sauce over each pear right before serving or serve warm chocolate separately in a sauce boat. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Chips Cookie Recipe

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