Poires Belle-Helene

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2 pears – firm – Bartlett or other

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups water

Sauce; 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

3 oz dark chocolate

Sliced almonds

2 to 4 scoops of vanilla ice-cream

Peel the pears, halve them if they are large, and core them. In a shallow pan put the water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stir so the sugar will dissolve. Put the pears into the liquid, until it boils. The pears should be covered. Add vanilla bean/alcohol/herbs – I like lemon verbena leaves – Lower the heat, then cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, until the pears are cooked and translucent; they should be tender (but not soggy) when pierced with a knife. They may need more or less cooking time –  depending on the pears. Take off the heat, keep them covered, and let them cool down. You can do this the day before and keep them in the fridge like this.For the chocolate sauce: Let the cream boil, then stop the heat and add the chocolate, stirring occasionally.
 
Separately, roast the almonds in a pan for a few minutes.
 
Serve pears in a coupe or small plate and pour some chocolate sauce over. Offer with ice cream and  almonds or any dried fruit on top.
Bon appetit !
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