4 to 6 firm Bartlett pears or other dessert variety
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup superfine sugar or vanilla sugar
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, if not using vanilla sugar
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup strong black coffee or 1 teaspoon instant coffee in 1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 quart best-quality vanilla ice cream
Chopped pistachios, optional
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