Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce
- 6 cups apple cider
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 firm pears such as Bosc or Bartlett
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Combine the cider, sugar and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add both the seeds and the pod to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Peel the pears. Reduce the poaching liquid to a simmer and add the pears. Cook until just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the pears in the poaching liquid, until completely cooled, about 45 minutes.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Put the chocolate and butter into a medium-size bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy.
- Serve the pears with a little pear-poaching syrup and warm chocolate sauce drizzled over the top.