Pears with Chocolate and Pepper


The pear is one of nature’s most remarkable inventions; its versatility is second to none. What other fruit could wed so perfectly with chocolate one minute, blue cheese the next?


Zest of 1 orange
2/3 cup sugar
4 Bosc pears
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
Freshly ground pepper

Yield: 4 Servings


Bring 1 quart water, the orange zest, and the sugar to a boil. Peel and core the pears, keeping them whole by cutting the core out from the bottom, and put them in the boiling syrup over low heat for 20 minutes. Place each pear on a dessert dish and let cool. Bring the cream to a boil, then pour in the chocolate and stir to melt it. Whisk in the butter piece by piece. Pour the sauce over the pears and season with pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Note: Pepper is surprising with dessert. It enhances the flavor of fresh fruit. In my first book, I included a pineapple dessert. You can also use pepper with strawberries.