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Poire Belle Helene

Poire Belle Helene

How to make a classic French dessert: Poire Belle Helene.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Manuela Zangara



  • 4 pears peeled
  • 100 gms – 3.5 oz. icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod open and scraped
  • 1 lt – 4 cups water

Sauce and Decoration

  • 100 gms – 3.5 oz. dark chocolate
  • 80 ml – 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 50 gms – 1/3 cup sliced almonds toasted
  • Sweetened whipped cream and/or Vanilla Ice cream to serve


  1. Put the water into a saucepan, then stir in the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla pod. Bring to a simmer and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. In the meantime, carefully peel the pears but leave the stalks intact. Then slice off a thin little disc at the base of each pear so that they can sit upright.
  3. Put the pears into the hot syrup in the saucepan and cover with a piece of baking paper, to make sure the pears are submerged. Simmer the pears in the syrup for 20 minutes, then, using a small skewer, test them to see if they are tender. If not, cook for a further 5 minutes and test again.
  4. When the pears are cooked, leave them to cool in the syrup.
  5. To make the sauce, put the chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water). Stir constantly as the chocolate melts until the sauce is smooth and glossy.
  6. To serve, drain the pears and serve them with the hot chocolate sauce, some vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream and toasted sliced almonds on the top.