Poire Belle-Hélène

Grandson Nathaniel saw fruit on our counter and offered to make dessert. I know better than to question his culinary judgment, so I hid my lack of enthusiasm for poached pears. Poached eggs are delicious, but I am not attracted by the word “poached”. It suggests you’ve stolen something and killed it in boiling water. How appetizing is that?

Grandson David commented on the action in the kitchen. “You’re really good at peeling!”

I turned to look. Nathaniel had his own peeler, and the skin was flying. In no time he had the fruit on the stove. Before long he called us to the table. Each whole pear rested beside a scoop of French vanilla ice cream he’d made at college. He drizzled chocolate sauce over the pears, and we sat down to a delectable treat.

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Photo by Nathaniel

He told us the dish was invented by the great French chef, Auguste Escoffier. The formal title is Poire Belle-Hélène, which rolled off his tongue easily. Our dessert tasted as elegant as Nathaniel made it sound.

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Nathaniel taking the photo above

32 thoughts on “Poire Belle-Hélène

    1. Nathaniel is going to cook a duck for us tomorrow. John has been wanting duck and bought a frozen one. I’m sure I’ve never cooked a duck in my life. My dad used to prepare it, and it was delicious. Have you ever eaten duck?


        1. Nathaniel is working on the duck we’re having for dinner later. I pulled up the recipe for him to see, and he said Crisco adds structure to the cookie. If you used butter, the cookies would spread out more and be crisper. If you like Faye’s description of the final product, stick with the Crisco.

          As home cooks, we’ve read this kind of explanation, but it’s hard to remember. Nathaniel has lots of info in his head. With all that weighty knowledge, it’s amazing he can hold his head up.


  1. I just had goldfish crackers for an afternoon snack, and I’m so wishing I had those pears and ice cream instead. They look luscious and elegant.


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