Get your fruit in.

I’m not a huge pear fan. I’m not especially fond of poached things and I’m not addicted to chocolate. What I CAN tell you about this little dessert is that it makes me a believer in all of the above. 

If you need a better reason: this helps keep the Surgeon General off your back. 1 fruit serving. Check. 1 Antioxidant serving. Check.

Poached Pear in Chocolate Sauce

This is a simple and delicious little treat I tried in Paris for the first time. It really would’ve have NEVER occurred to me to serve pears this way, but it works! The pictures you see are the trial run. I made them again for one of our ‘dinner parties’.

Poaching the pears:
4 Bosc or D’anjou pears
4 cps water
2 cps granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves, whole
Zest from half a lemon

You’ll want to use a medium-sized saucepan, add the water, stir in the sugar and put it over high heat. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds, add to the saucepan together with the cinnamon and cloves.

While you wait for this to come to a boil, peel the pears. You’ll want to trim the bottoms to make sure they stand on the plate. Add them to the poaching liquid once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. At this point it should barely simmer, don’t allow it to boil. Simmer the pears for about 15 minutes; this will vary depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Pierce it with a knife—be gentle—to determine if they’re done. Allow them to cool in the liquid.

Chocolate Sauce
1½ cp heavy cream
½ cp granulated sugar
8 oz unsweetened chocolate chips
2 tsp bourbon (optional)
1 tsp vanilla

Combine ½ of the heavy and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat; you want to heat it up, but not boil. Add the chips, stir to melt. Put the vanilla and bourbon into your blender, add in the chocolate mixture and blitz. Heat up the rest of the cream and add it to the contents of the blender, in a slow steady stream. You’re looking for the consistency of condensed milk.

To serve, pour the sauce onto the bottom of a salad/dessert plate, swirl it around to cover. Take the pear out of the poaching liquid, let it stand on a clean towel to soak the excess liquid, and place atop the sauce. Voila!

PS: I’ve reserved the poaching liquid. Don’t know what I’ll use it for yet, but I’ll let you know when I do!

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