Traditionally, a poire belle-Hélène is a poached pear served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. I really love when fruits are roasted, caramelized on the edges and even a little warm when served with ice cream. You can use whatever pears you find at the market as they won’t be overly ripe, though anjou and bosc pears are traditional for cooking and hold their shape well.

Roasted Pear Belle Hélène

For the chocolate sauce

3 tbsp water

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup whole milk

Pinch sea salt

100 g dark chocolate, Valrhona if possible

30 g milk chocolate, Valrhona if possible

For roasted pears

2 pears, cut into quarters and cored

4 tbsp salted butter, melted

1 vanilla bean, scraped

For finishing

1 pint good vanilla ice cream

8 walnuts, roasted and broken into pieces

Pinch of Maldon sea salt

Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment.

In a medium saucepan, heat water, cream, milk and salt until just under a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate into the cream mixture, letting it sit for a minute to melt. Using a spatula, slowly mix chocolate into the milk until smooth and shiny. Set aside.

In a bowl, toss pears, butter and vanilla bean seeds until evenly coated. Place pears onto the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges of the pears brown a little. They don’t necessarily need to be cooked through, as a ripe juicy inside also tastes delicious.

To assemble, place two pear quarters into a bowl and add two small balls of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and top with nuts. Serves 4.

Originally published October 2020