A beautiful and delicious dessert for your next dinner party. Serves 6

3 cups Water 750 mL
1/2 cup Sugar 125 mL
1 (2 inch) lemon peel twist 1 (5 cm)
6 Pears 6
6 oz Semi-sweet Chocolate 170 g
2 tbsp Shortening 25 mL

Combine water, sugar and lemon twist in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.

Peel the pears and trim slightly to level bottom; remove core from blossom end, leaving stem intact. Drip a little lemon juice over the pears.

Add pears to poaching liquid; reduce heat. Cover and simmer gently between 5 to 15 minutes; depending on how ripe the pears are and the kind used. Test with a needle or toothpick. The pears should still be slightly firm without being hard on the inside; turn and baste occasionally. Remove pears from liquid; stand on flat dish. Cool.

Melt chocolate and shortening over very low heat. Dry pears with paper towels. Holding each pear carefully by the stem, spoon chocolate mixture over pear to coat. Let stand in cool place to set chocolate.

When it is time to serve the pears, place some vanilla ice cream into dessert bowls. Push the pear into the ice cream.

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