Ethnobrownies: French – Poire Belle Helene


For Christmas 2016.


  • 5 oz bakers’ chocolate
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 8 small pears
  • 1 stick vanilla
  • 2 cups silvered almonds


  • Ahead:
    • Pears and glaze
      • Peel the pears
      • Cut open the vanilla pod
      • Put pears, 1/2 cup sugar, and the vanilla in a big pot and submerge with water
      • Bring to a boil, turn down and cook 30 minutes
      • Remove pears to a bowl
      • Reduce remaining liquid to 2 cups, strain and put aside
  • Double-boil the chocolate, salt and butter
  • Beat the 2 1/2 cups sugar with the eggs
  • Add the chocolate and egg mixtures and whisk together
  • Gently fold in the flour
  • Halve the pears, removing any seeds, and place them in the baking dish flat-side down
  • Pour the brownie mixture over the top
  • Bake in a buttered dish at 325 for 35 minutes or until done
  • Meanwhile toast almonds in a pan with butter
  • Sprinkle with almonds and pear/vanilla reduction

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