Pears are my husband's favorite fruit, so he immediately declared this dessert "a keeper." It's elegant but easy, satisfying yet light. Plus, it's fun to watch the looks on the faces of our grandkids and great-grandkids when they discover the surprise filling inside. —Barbara Smith, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
- 4 medium ripe pears
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon milk
- CHOCOLATE SAUCE:
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1-1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Fresh mint, optional
- Core pears from bottom, leaving stems intact. Peel pears. Cut 1/4 in. from bottom to level if necessary. In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Add pears; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat; stir vanilla into sugar syrup. Spoon over pears. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- Meanwhile, combine walnuts, confectioners' sugar and milk; set aside. For chocolate sauce, in a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar and butter to a boil. Remove from the heat; add chocolate chips, stirring until melted.
- To serve, drain pears well; spoon nut mixture into cavities. Place on dessert plates; top with some of the chocolate sauce. Insert a mint leaf near stem if desired. Serve with the remaining chocolate sauce. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Poached Pear Surprise in Taste of Home August/September 2000, p27
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