Pears Belle Hélène
PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes, plus freezing time COOKING TIME 20 minutes SERVES 4
FOR THE PEARS • 1 tbsp caster sugar • 4 bay leaves • 3 cardamom pods • 2 vanilla pods • 2 comice pears, with stalks FOR THE ICE CREAM • 300ml double cream • 200ml whole milk • 2 vanilla pods, slit, seeds scraped out but reserved • 4 egg yolks • 85–100g caster sugar FOR THE SAUCE • 1 tsp caster sugar • 300ml double cream • 2 x 100g dark chocolate
1. To make the ice cream pour cream and milk into a pan. Add vanilla pods and seeds and heat until steaming. Leave to infuse for 5 mins. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and foamy. Remove pods and whisk warm cream into egg yolk mixture. Stir over a low heat until a custard is formed. Transfer to an ice-cream maker and churn. 2. To cook pears, pour 300ml boiling water into a pan, add sugar and stir. Add bay leaves, cardamom and vanilla pods. Heat to boiling. Peel and core pears, leave stalk intact. Add to the syrup and poach gently for 20 mins. 3. For the sauce, put the sugar in a pan with 1 tbsp boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Then warm the cream in a pan, add the chocolate gradually to melt. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar syrup. 4. To serve, slice the pears in half then make vertical cuts about 5mm apart then add the ice cream and drizzle with sauce.