Poached pear Charlotte

Poached Pear Charlotte from Auberge Du Soleil
Poached Pear Charlotte, Fromage Blanc Mousse, Soft Caramel, Pear Brunoise

Serves 15

Fromage Blanc Mousse


    4 1/2 Ounces Fromage Blanc 3/4 Ounces Sugar 1/2 Each Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped 1/4 Teaspoon Salt 1 Each Egg Whites 3/4 Ounces Sugar 1/2 Cup Cream


-Prepare cheesecloth to hang the mousse by lining a perforated steamer basket or large strainer with two layers of cheesecloth, and leaving sufficient cheesecloth overhang to wrap on top of mousse. Place the basket in a larger bowl to collect liquids under. Prepare a "weight" from a similar sized pan or pot that will fit on top of cheesecloth-wrapped mousse, and add approximately three pounds of weight. (Alternatively the mousse can be hung in the cheesecloth in the refrigerator over a bowl).

-Cream the fromage blanc, sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixer with paddle attachment until completely smooth.

-In a clean, separate mixing bowl, whip the whites on medium speed with whisk attachment until frothy and opaque. Slowly pour in the sugar and continue to whisk to a soft meringue stage

-Whip the cream.

-Fold meringue into fromage blanc mixture, then fold in whipped cream.

-Pour entire mixture into the strainer with cheesecloth, wrap well, place weight on top, and allow to sit refrigerated overnight.

Charlotte Caramel


  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Ounce Corn Syrup
  • 3/4 Cup Cream
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 Ounce Butter
  • 1/4 Each Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped


-Combine sugar and corn syrup in a large pot. Add just enough water to moisten all sugar.

-Cook on high heat until sugar caramelizes to an amber color.

-While sugar is caramelizing, heat cream.

-When the sugar is sufficiently caramelized, immediately turn the heat off and slowly pour in the warm cream. The mixture will have a violent bubbling reaction; use extreme caution.

-Add salt, butter, and scraped vanilla bean seeds.

-Allow to cool completely.

Pear Brunoise


  • 3 Each Firm Pears
  • 1 Teaspoon Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Ounces Water


-Brunoise pears by cutting into 1/8 -inch cubes. Add vinegar and salt. Reserve.

-Combine sugar and enough water to moisten all sugar.

-Cook on high heat until sugar caramelizes to a light golden brown color.

-When the sugar is sufficiently caramelized, immediately turn the heat off and add the water. Stir to combine.

-Pour caramel liquid over brunoise of pears. Cool and reserve.

Cracked Black Pepper Tuile


  • 9 1/2 Ounces Powdered Sugar
  • 5 Ounces All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Egg Whites, warm
  • 4 3/4 Ounces Clarified Butter, warm
  • 1 Pinch Freshly ground Black Pepper


-Mix flour and sugar with whip.

-Add 1/4 of the egg whites.

-Mix at medium speed for 10 - 20 seconds until smooth.

-Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, if there are not any lumps, add remaining eggs on low speed.

-Mix until incorporated.

-Change to paddle attachment.

-Add melted, clarified butter and slowly mix to incorporate.

-Prepare a Silpat mat (silicon mat or parchment) by lightly spraying with vegetable spray.

-Using a small offset spatula, thinly spread tuile batter onto silicon mat into a small sail shape. Tuiles should be slightly thicker at the bottom, and thinner towards the point of the sail. Work in small batches of 5 tuiles.

-Grind a small amount of fresh pepper over each tuile.

-Bake in a 325 degree oven for approximately 2 minutes, or until golden brown all over.

-Working quickly while tuiles are hot, remove each tuile using a small offset spatula. Form each tuile by using hands to gently bend them into elegant twisted shapes as they cool. If tuiles begin to break when formed, place cookie sheet back in the oven for 30 seconds to reheat. Store away from moisture.

Poached Pears


  • 1 Bottles White Wine
  • 1 Quarts Water
  • 1 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Each Lemon
  • 8 Each Large Pears, peeled, cored and halved


-Bring white wine, water, sugar, and lemons to a boil in a large pot.

-Add pears as water boils, and then immediately turn heat down to low.

-Poach pears until cooked through, but not soft. Remove from heat.

-Allow pears to cool in liquid.

-Prepare 15 3-inch diameter, 1/2 -inch high ring molds by lining with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. -Once pears are completely cooled, slice thinly, lengthwise.

-Line ring molds with sliced pears. Place first slice with one tip in the center of the mold and the other tip hanging over the edge. Continue around the ring slightly overlapping each slice, and making sure that a sufficient portion is hanging over the edge of the ring mold to wrap on top of mousse filling.

Final Assembly

-Spoon Fromage Blanc Mousse into prepared pear-lined ring molds. (Ring molds can be substituted with shallow ramekins.) Do not fill above top of ring mold.

-Using a piping bag filled with the caramel, pipe a small amount of the Charlotte Caramel into the center of each dessert.

-Once filled, fold the pear overhang on top of each Charlotte to completely enclose.

-Serve each Charlotte by inverting onto a plate. Spoon a generous amount of Pear Brunoise Sauce around each. Garnish with Cracked Black Pepper Tuile and Pear Sorbet (if desired).

About Executive Pastry Chef Paul Lemieux:
He's the creative force behind the delectable deserts that come out of the kitchen at this renowned Napa Valley inn. A four-year veteran of the Auberge culinary team, Lemieux's passion and creativity in the art of pastry making come from nearly 15 years of experience honed at renowned restaurants throughout the United States. Paul first joined Auberge du Soleil in August of 2003, brought on board under then Executive Chef of Richard Reddington. Lemieux began his career after graduating Magna cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts in Providence, Rhode Island in 1992. Making the move to San Francisco, Paul began on the hot line under then Chef Traci DesJardins of Rubicon. Taking him under her wing, DesJardines mentored Lemieux for several years, quickly promoting him to Sous Chef after just a few months. In the spring of 1996, Paul was promoted to pastry chef, where he discovered his passion for confectioneries and chocolates. Chef DesJardines quickly recognized his talents, and asked him to join her as pastry chef in her new namesake restaurant Jardinere. He was quickly recognized as a true culinary star, earning critical acclaim by Gourmet Magazine, which in 1997, referred to him as "San Francisco's up-and-coming pastry star."

Auberge du Soleil
180 Rutherford Hill Road
Rutherford, California

The 120-seat Auberge du Soleil Restaurant and bar showcase spectacular vistas from one of the best vantage points in the valley. Chef Robert Curry creates Wine Country cuisine that reflects the natural diversity and rich ingredients of Napa Valley and draws from regional produce, accented with Mediterranean flavors. Sommelier Kris Margerum's wine list is the largest and most extensive in the valley and showcases the very best from neighboring vineyards. Adjacent to the restaurant, the bar offers lighter fare in a cozy, casual atmosphere or outside on the wraparound deck.

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