Perfect Pears Helene

I love a decadent dessert on occasion and there are times when the craving doesn’t match the time I have to spend in the kitchen.  Pears Helene is something I can quickly prepare but tastes like I spent hours in the kitchen.  So sit back, relax and enjoy this gem!


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 Bosc pears – cored, peeled, stems left on
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup prepared hot fudge topping, or as needed
  • 1 cup vanilla or your favorite ice cream


  1. Place water in a heavy pot. Stir in zest and juice of 1 lemon. Place pears in pot. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and split pods to the poaching liquid. Pour in sugar.
  2. Bring pot to a simmer over medium-high heat; stir gently to dissolve sugar with minimal jostling of the pears. Reduce heat so pears continue cooking over a steady, gentle simmer. Pears need to stay submerged, so place a small plate over them in the pot to keep them under the liquid. Simmer until pears are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let pears cool to room temperature in the poaching liquid.
  3. Transfer pears and vanilla beans to a storage container and cover with some of the poaching liquid. Cover and refrigerate until pears are thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Reserve all of the poaching liquid.
  4. Heat hot fudge sauce in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. You can also use a ganache which is two parts heavy cream to one part chocolate.  Dip base of pear into the chocolate and spoon chocolate along the sides except for the top inch or so of the pear.
  5. Place dipped pears in individual serving bowls with another generous spoonful of syrup and a small scoop of ice cream.

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