When I came to college in 1971 in Cambridge (Boston) my favorite café was The Blue Parrot in Harvard Square, just down the alley from restaurant Casablanca. Many menu items there were nods to the classic film, as was my drink of choice, the Sundae Greenstreet, poached pears with coffee ice cream and Kahlua. I would never have thought to pair coffee with pears, but this dish showed me what a great combination it was.
This recipe is a riff on that, with a coffee flavored buttercream folded with whipped cream and frozen with alternating layers of hazelnut praline, and crowned with poached pears. Tortoni is traditionally made with almonds, but I particularly like the pairing of hazelnuts and coffee. While there are four different preparations involved , all are pretty simple, and you can quicken the dish by using only two.
—LE BEC FIN