One year ends, another begins. I used to get excited about it once. Now… a little bit less. Now I tell myself, hold on time, slow down… where are you off to? But time doesn’t listen and keeps going on its own hasty way, just like the white rabbit with his pocket watch. Oh well, I guess I’ll press on too. I’ll keep falling in this rabbit hole, or in my reality, this time hole, hoping that this year, just like Alice, I will also land safely.
I celebrated the passing of time with some friends at home. In the last few weeks, I was busy with my niece Yasmine’s birthday project, so I didn’t have enough time to plan what to bake for my New Year’s guests. The night before I decided to make a dessert out of whatever I had in the kitchen. It was clear, with my hoard of pistachios from Bronte, I’m going to make a pistachio dessert.
I baked a pistachio tartlet. The dessert was actually a little pistachio celebration inspired by all of the other pistachio desserts I made in the last year. I found leftover pie dough I kept from this brûlée tart I made not long ago. I filled the crusts with baked pistachio cream like I did in this pistachio and raspberry tart. Finally, I added a crunchy pistachio layer and a pistachio crémeux like I did in this pistachio and cherry mousse cake. At least this year is starting on a green foot.
Some notes for the new year
* In this pistachio tartlet recipe, I use natural pistachio butter. You can probably find it in most nature stores. Pistachio butter is made from 100% pistachios, with no added oil, and doesn’t taste bitter at all (please taste it before you use it).
* It’s important to make the dough in a cold environment (the ingredients should be cold as well). Make sure that the kitchen is cold throughout the process. If the dough softens while working with it, put it in the fridge for a short rest.
* In this recipe I use a Silpan to improve the baking of the crust. If you don’t have one, blind bake the crust and use pie weights, just like I did in this post.
* Pailleté feuilletine: or in other words, caramelized wafer flakes. You can find it in most baking supply stores. You can also make it at home. Just get wafer rolls and crumble the crunchy layer that covers the filling.
Gelatin mass *
3 g gelatin powder
15 g water
50 g natural pistachio butter
50 g white chocolate
12 g gelatin mass
80 g heavy cream 38%
80 g milk 3%
40 g egg yolk (from 2 large eggs)
20 g sugar
235 g all-purpose flour
30 g almond powder
90 g powdered sugar
½ tsp salt
120 g cold butter (cut into cubes)
56 g eggs (1 large egg)
1 tsp vanilla paste
Baked pistachio cream
55 g powdered sugar
56 g shelled pistachios
55 g soft butter (at room temperature)
56 g eggs (1 large egg at room temperature)
30 g shelled pistachios
15 g all-purpose flour
15 g demerara sugar
¼ tsp salt
15 g butter
55 g natural pistachio butter
30 g pailleté feuilletine
60 g pistachio streusel
30 g milk chocolate
15 g dark chocolate 58%
About 100 g shelled pistachios
6 round baking rings, 8 cm diameter & 2.5 cm height
6 round baking rings, 7 cm diameter
* The amount of gelatin is too small to weigh? You can make a bigger batch, let’s say 10 g gelatin powder and 50 g water and just weigh 14 g from the final mass to the recipe.
The recipe makes 6 pistachio tartlet
Gelatin mass: Sprinkle gelatin powder over the water, mix well and keep in the fridge for at least half an hour. If the resulting texture is too spongy or lumpy, heat the gelatin mass gently just to melt it and put it back in the fridge to set again. Cut into small pieces before use.
Roasted pistachios for decoration: Preheat the oven to 160 °C / 320 °F. Scatter about100 g shelled pistachios on a baking tray and roast for about 7 minutes until they brown a bit. Cool at room temperature. Put roasted pistachios in a small food processor. Grind in short pulses until crushed. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Prepare the smaller rings: warm the rings a little on low heat. Cover the bottom of the rings with plastic wrap by pulling and attaching it to the sides to form a flat sealed bottom. Place the rings on a flat tray.
Put white chocolate in a measuring pitcher. Add pistachio butter and gelatin mass. Place a sieve on top.
Put milk, heavy cream, sugar and egg yolks in a saucepan and mix. Heat on medium heat up to a temperature of 80-82 °C / 176-180 °F (it’s ok to go a little higher, but not more than 84 °C / 183 °F), while mixing energetically, but gently, with a spatula to prevent the egg yolk from congealing (especially at the bottom of the saucepan).
Remove from heat and pour immediately through the sieve into the measuring pitcher (to get rid of egg chunks that may have hardened while cooking). Mix a little bit with a spatula and then use a hand blender to blend it to a uniform consistency.
Pour the mixture into the the rings up to a height of 1 cm. Keep in the freezer for at least 2 hours or until set.
Put flour, almond powder, powdered sugar, salt and butter cubes in the mixer bowl and keep in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Remove from fridge.
Using the paddle attachment, start mixing at low-medium speed until the batter reaches sand-like consistency. Make sure the butter chunks are as small as possible at the end of the process without melting the butter. Make sure the room is chilled.
Using a fork, whisk the egg yolk with the vanilla. Add the egg mixture all at once and keep mixing at medium speed until the dough starts to form but is not yet completely uniform. Remove dough parts from the bowl and combine. Divide the dough in two equal parts. Keep one part in the fridge for the meantime.
Place the second part on top of a parchment paper. Flatten the dough a little bit and lay another parchment paper on top. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin between the two parchment papers to 3 mm thickness. Keep turning the dough throughout.
Place the dough with the parchment papers on a tray. Keep in the fridge for at least an hour or two. Repeat the process with the other part of the dough.
Lightly butter the inner side of the larger baking rings so that the dough sticks to them. When the dough is ready, peel parchment papers from both sides. Place the dough back on one of the papers.
Using a ruler and a sharp knife, cut 3 strips from the dough, each 24 cm long and 3 cm wide. Place 3 rings on top of the dough and cut out 3 circles. Leave the dough inside the rings. Lift a strip of dough and attach it to the inner side of one ring. Attach the edges and cut the excess dough.
Please note (!) If at any point the dough starts to soften, put it back in the fridge until it is slightly stiff again.
Gently press down on the sides so that the corners at the bottom form a right angle. Go over the top of the ring with a sharp knife and remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork.
Repeat the process with the rest of the rings and then with the second part of the dough. Keep the crusts in the freezer until the dough is stiff (about half an hour).
Preheat oven to 170 °C (340 °F). When the desired temperature is reached, remove the crusts from the freezer and set them on a baking tray lined with a Silpan (if you don’t have one, blind bake the crust and use pie weights, just like I did in this post).
Place immediately in the oven and bake for about 16-18 minutes, until the crust begins to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Release the crusts from the ring. Brush the top of the crusts against a flat mesh sieve to straighten the edges and give it a cleaner, sharper look. Clean the crumbs from inside the crusts using a clean brush. Set aside.
Baked pistachio cream
Preheat oven to 170 °C (340 °F). Put pistachios and powdered sugar in a small food processor and ground to a fine powder. Transfer to the mixer bowl and add soft butter. Attach the paddle attachment and mix on low-medium speed until you get a uniform mixture.
Add the egg gradually to the butter mixture and keep mixing. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Keep mixing until you get a uniform cream. Transfer the cream into the crusts up to half their height (use a bent spoon to flatten the surface evenly).
Put the crusts back in the oven. Bake for about 16-19 minutes, until the cream is set and starts separating from the rim of the crusts. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 170 °C (340 °F). In a food processor, grind pistachios and flour together to a powder. Add sugar, butter and salt. Grind in short pulses until you get a crumble.
Spread the crumbly mixture on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool at room temperature. Weigh the amount needed for the pistachio crunch.
Put pistachio butter, pailleté feuilletine and pistachio streusel in a bowl. Melt milk and dark chocolate together (on a double boiler or in a microwave). Add the melted chocolate to the mixture and mix until uniform. The texture should resemble a crunchy spread. If the mixture is not spreadable, add a little bit more melted chocolate (5-10 g).
Assembly & decoration
Using an offset spatula, spread the pistachio crunch on top of each tart and flatten the surface to be levelled with the rim of the crust. Set aside.
Remove the pistachio crémeux from the freezer and release it from the ring by warming the outer side of the ring with the warmth of your hands. Do it on top of the tart. The crémeux will just slide out by itself and land on top of the tart.
Wait a little bit till the crémeux thaws a little and creates a thin shiny layer around it that will allow the pistachios to adhere to it. Decorate the crémeux with crushed roasted pistachios, on top and all around it (gently press the pistachios with your hand).
That’s all basically. Keep the pistachio tartlet in the fridge for about 2-3 days in an airtight container.Yum
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