Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce
Yield: 6 servings
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
slivered zest from one orange
1 vanilla bean
6 small almost-ripe pears, preferably a firm type like Bosc, Bartlett or Concorde
juice from one orange
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted in a 300°F. oven until just beginning to color, about 3-5 minutes
3 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
Combine the water, sugar, orange zest and halved, scraped vanilla bean plus its seeds, in a non-reactive (do not use aluminum or cast iron) pot large enough to accommodate the fruit. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.
Peel the pears. Gently remove the core from the bottom with a corer or paring knife. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each, so they stand. Place pears in the pan, stem end up. The liquid should just cover the pears. Top this with a round of parchment or waxed paper (cut to size). Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for 5-20 minutes, just until the pears are tender when pierced with a small knife. Less ripe pears will take longer, riper ones a shorter time. Remove pears and allow to cool to room temperature.
Add the orange juice to poaching syrup and simmer 15-20 minutes, until reduced by half. Pour over pears. May be refrigerated for up to 5 days at this point.
Make the chocolate sauce by bringing the heavy cream to a simmer in a small pan. Add the chocolate and stir, off the heat, until melted. If made in advance, this sauce will need to be re-warmed slightly for serving.
To serve place one pear in each flat bowl, with a little of the syrup. Spoon some warm chocolate sauce over the pear. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve.
About Paulding & Company
Founded by mother-daughter duo Terry and Tracy Paulding, Paulding & Co. is a commercial kitchen and instructional/event space that specializes in creating innovative event ideas for families and corporate entities through public cooking classes and exercises. Located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay area, Paulding & Company inspired Disney/Pixar animators for the Ratatouille film and director Clint Eastwood for several projects.
To learn more including a schedule of upcoming classes visit www.pauldingandco.com .
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