This is an elegant but very simple dessert. I also like to make the poached pears and store them in the refrigerator, covered with spices syrup in which they cooked. Occasionally, I take one and eat it without adding anything else. It’s a good way to take advantage of all the fruit in season, particularly those pears that can be a little unripe and firm. —Paula | my common table
small, firm, pears
1 vanilla bean cut in half lengthwise (for this recipe you’ll only need one half)
Peel the pears and cut some of the bottom to flatten. In a small saucepan, place the pears, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, 1/2 vanilla bean, orange peel, honey and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the pears are cooked (pierce with a toothpick to confirm).
Meanwhile make the chocolate sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the cream without boiling. Break the chocolate into small pieces into a bowl. When the cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate and stir well until the chocolate is completely melted.
Serve the pears still warm with the hot chocolate sauce on top. You can also add a scoop of vanilla ice cream (optional).