A simple-to-make dessert with a spectacular looking result.
1 recipe Pistachio Pastry (below)
1/2 recipe Almond Cream (below)
1/2 recipe Crème Pâtissière (below)
2/3 cup apricot jam, for glazing
1 tbsp water
2 pints raspberries
1/2 cup ground pistachios
2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
8.9 oz all-purpose flour
3.5 oz ground pistachios
pinch of sea salt
4.4 oz butter, straight from the refrigerator
4.4 oz sugar
1 cup, plus 1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 1/2 cup ground almonds
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp Poire Williams liqueur or rum
1 cup whole milk (low-fat could be used if you prefer, but the cream will not be as rich)
1 vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
5 tbsp superfine sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose plain flour
Step 1: Measure out all your ingredients before you start, and break your eggs into a small bowl. Separate the remaining egg yolk. Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
Step 2: Take the butter straight from the refrigerator and put it between two pieces of waxed paper or butter wrappers, then bash it firmly with a rolling pin. The idea is to soften the butter while still keeping it cold. Put the whole slab into the bowl of flour—there is no need to chop it up. Cover the butter well with flour and tear it into large pieces.
Step 3: Flake the flour, pistachios, sugar and butter together. With both hands, scoop up the flour-covered butter and flick your thumbs over the surface, pushing away from you, as if you are dealing a deck of cards. Use a soft, skimming motion—no pressing or squeezing—and the butter will quickly start to break into smaller pieces. Keep plunging your hands into the bowl, and continue with the light flicking action, making sure all the pieces of butter remain coated with flour so they don't become sticky. Stop mixing when the shards of butter are the size of your little fingernail.
Step 3: Pour the eggs and the extra yolk into the flour mixture and mix everything together. While it is still in the bowl, press down on the dough with both thumbs, then turn the dough clockwise a few degrees and press down and turn again. Repeat this a few times.
Step 4: Turn the pastry onto a work surface. Work the dough as you did when it was in the bowl: holding the dough with both hands, press down gently with your thumbs, then turn the dough clockwise a few degrees, press down with your thumbs again and turn. Repeat this about four or five times. Now fold the pastry over itself and press down with your fingertips. Provided the dough isn't sticky, you shouldn't need to flour the surface. But if you do, make sure you give it only a really light dusting.
Step 5: Repeat the folding and pressing down with your fingertips a couple of times until the dough is like plasticine and looks homogeneous. Finally, pick up the piece of pastry and tap each side on the work surface to square it off, so that when you come to roll it, you are starting off with a good shape rather than raggedy edges.
Step 6: Rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably several or overnight.
Step 1: Beat the butter until very soft, preferably in a stand mixer.
Step 2: With the motor running, add the sugar and ground almonds and mix some more.
Step 3: Now mix in the flour, then the eggs, and finally the liqueur. Transfer to a small bowl and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Step 1: Put the milk into a heavy-based saucepan. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean along its length, scrape the seeds into the milk, then put the pod halves in too. Add half of the sugar.
Step 2: Put egg yolks and the remaining sugar into a bowl and whisk until pale and creamy. Add the flour and mix until smooth
Step 3: Put the pan of milk over medium heat, bring to just under a boil, then slowly pour half of it into the egg mixture, whisking well. Add the remainder of the milk and whisk again, then pour the mixture back into the pan. Bring to a boil, whisking all the time, then keep boiling and whisking continuously for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Step 4: Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and scopp out the vanilla pods. Cover the surface of the crème pâtissière with parchment paper to prevent a skin forming. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
Step 1: Lightly grease three 12-hole tartlet pans.
Step 2: Flour your work surface and roll out the pastry 1/16" - 1/8" thick. Use it to line your pan(s), then put into the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 4: Mix the almond cream and crème pâtissière together in a bowl. Using a spoon or piping bag, fill the pastry crusts to the top with the mixture.
Step 5: Bake the tartlets for 15 - 20 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool in the pans for 15 minutes before lifting out and cooling on a rack.
Step 6: Put the jam into a saucepan with the water and bring to just under a simmer. Don't let the mixture boil or the jam will become too gooey to spread properly.
Step 7: Press the jam through a fine sieve to remove any pulp. Using a pastry brush, lightly glaze the top of the tartlets or tart.
Step 8: To decorate tartlets, sprinkle the tops with the ground pistachios, then glaze lightly. Place a row of raspberries down the middle and lightly glaze again. Lightly glaze again.
If you wish, you can fill the pastry crusts with almond cream, then freeze them. Alternatively, you can bake and then freeze them until needed. Just defrost and warm them through. Let them cool before adding the raspberries and pistachios.
See more recipes from Pastry.
Reprinted with permission from Pastry (2013, Raincoast Books).