Dana Slatkin

George Blanc’s Poached Pears Filled with Dark Chocolate

Poached Pears Filled with Dark ChocolateTwenty-something years ago, while sitting on the floor of a bookstore, this gorgeous dessert inspired me to read Georges Blanc’s cookbook, The Natural Cuisine of Georges Blanc, cover to cover. The recipe sounded so tantalizing, I wanted to stick a fork right into the book. Instantly, I knew I had to go to cooking school.


Halfway into the program at the Culinary Institute of America, we were required to find a job in a real-world kitchen. Soon, I was packing my bags for the tiny village of Vonnas, France, to spend a year as an apprentice with Chef Blanc. I was still burning to learn how to take a humble ingredient like a pear and make it so irresistible.

It’s as simple as this. Bathed in aromatic syrup, filled with luscious dark chocolate ganache, and set in a pool of crème anglaise, the shapely pear shows off its allure. I love the zest of real vanilla bean and fresh ginger, but you can experiment with your own infusion using star anise, cinnamon sticks, even tea bags. The poaching liquid can be reused to cook an extra batch (great for lunchboxes), or save it to mix with vodka and Amaretto for a sexy apèritif.

By the way, it is perfectly acceptable to melt a little vanilla ice cream for a quick crème anglaise. No one will guess this dessert only took you a few minutes. Or, in my case, a very long journey.

If fruit desserts are your thing, too, try my Easy Tarte Tatin.

February is the month for chocolate! Send in your favorite chocolate recipe here so I can share it with all my readers!

Photo credit: Blake Slatkin

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  1. Alex Freitas says:

    As a child, I remember my mother making these beautiful creations!! I loved them then and I love them now. I have been craving these for so long and I cannot wait to make these and make them as a traditional desert for the holidays!!

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