Pear Belle-Hélène, Polignac Almonds

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Ingredients (4 people)

Polignac Almonds

Instructions

Step 1: Vanilla Ice Cream

Pour the milk and the cream into a pot. Add the split and scraped vanilla bean, then bring to a boil. Mix the powdered milk, the sugar, and the egg yolks together in a mixing bowl, then pour this mixture into the pot and bring to 85 °C. Strain the mixture through a chinois, allow to rest at least 12 hours, then place into an ice cream maker.

Step 2: Polignac Almonds

Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a pot to make a simple syrup. Bring the syrup to 30 °C, and add the almonds. Allow to soak at least several hours. Preheat the oven to 160 °C (th. 5-6). Drian the almonds and place them on a Silpat®. Roast until nicely browned.

Step 3: Chocolate Sauce

In a pot, heat the milk, the cream, and the sugar together, then pour the mixture over the chocolate slowly. Add the heavy cream and set aside. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce in a double boiler or in the microwave.

Step 4: Poached Pears

Pour the water, the sugar, and the lemon juice into a pot. Add the scraped vanilla bean, then bring the mixture to a boil. Meanwhile, wash and peel the pears, cut them in half, and remove the seeds. Place the pear halves into the boiling syrup and slowly cook over a very low heat. Check the cooking of the pears with the tip of a knife – they should be quite soft.

Step 5: Whipped Cream

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream and the sugar with the scraped vanilla bean. Whisk the mixture vigorously until thick and fluffy, then chill. When ready to serve the pears, whisk the cream once more and place into a piping bag with a ridged tip.

Step 6: Plating and Serving

Pipe a nice round of cream into the bottom of a bowl, and place two pear halves on top. Form a quenelle of vanilla ice cream and arrange it with the pears, then sprinkle with the Polignac almonds. Serve the warm chocolate sauce on the side.

Sommelier’s Tip

Champagne demi-sec or un young white Sauternes (Bordeaux).

This recipe was originally published in "L'esprit bistrot" (Alain Ducasse Edition).