Chocolate-Pistachio Tart with Pistachio Flan
Pistachios star in this dessert, flavoring both the hidden filling in the chocolate tarts and the silky flan, and sprinkled over the plate. Chef Deborah Snyder, who was working at JUdson Grill when she taped this dish for Great Chefs, adds the taste of muscat grapes in the sauce -- created by boiling down muscat wine until it is thick and syrupy -- and muscat ice cream. She tops the dessert with a spiral of pulled sugar; edible flowers also look wonderful as a garnish.
- Candied Pistachios
- Sicilian pistachios - 2 cups, shelled
- Light Corn Syrup - 2 tablespoons
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Tart Dough
- Cold Unsalted butter - 14 ounces (3 sticks plus 4 tablespoons), cut into chunks
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- Egg - 1
- Vanilla Extract - 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla bean - 1, split
- All-Purpose Flour - 4 cups, sifted
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Chocolate Filling
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 5 ounces, chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 6 ounces, (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
- Eggs - 2
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Sugar - 3/4 cup
- All-Purpose Flour - 1/3 cup
- Pistachio Cream
- Almond paste - 1-1/4 ounces
- Pistachio paste - 2-1/4 ounces (available in special food stores, or on-line)
- Sugar - 1/2 cup minus 2 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 3-3/4 ounces (1 stick minus 1/2 tablespoon)
- Eggs - 2
- Cake flour - 1/3 cup, sifted
- Pistachio Flan
- Whole Milk - 3 cups
- Vanilla bean - 1, split
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Pistachios - 1-1/4 cups roasted, chopped
- Eggs - 3
- Egg Yolks - 4
- Sugar - 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon
- Muscat Wine - 2 cups, reduced to a syrup
- Muscat - 1 pint, or vanilla ice cream
- Pulled sugar spiral decorations - 6 to 8 (optional), or 6 to 8 edible flowers
To prepare the candied pistachios: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a sided sheet pan with aluminum foil. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, tossing to coat. Spread the nuts on the prepared pan and toast about 10 minutes, or until lightly colored and fragrant. Remove and set aside to cool. Break into small pieces.
To make the dough: Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod into the mixture; the discarded pod may be put into a canister of granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar if desired. Beat the mixture just to blend; scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and salt until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Roll the dough between pieces of parchment paper until 1/16-inch thick. Place 4-inch or 5-inch ring molds on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Cut out 6-inch or 7-inch circles of dough and press into the rings. Trim any excess dough to level the tops. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet.
To prepare the chocolate filling: Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Whisk gently to combine; set aside; do not beat air into the mixture. Combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a bowl and whisk together to combine. Fold a large spoonful of the egg mixture into the chocolate until completely combined, then fold in the remaining egg mixture. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold until combined. Set aside.
To prepare the pistachio cream: Cream the almond paste and pistachio paste in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter and sugar and cream until the sugar has dissolved completely and no grains can be felt when the mixture is rubbed between thumb and forefinger. Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, continuing to cream until the mixture is smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed and add the flour; mix just until combined.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spoon some of the pistachio mixture into the bottom of each pastry shell. Cover with the chocolate filling. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until the filling is set. Set aside at room temperature until cooled; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To prepare the flan: Heat the milk to boiling in a medium saucepan and remove from heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pods into the mixture, then drop in the pods. Add the zest and pistachios. Bring the mixture just to a boil again. Turn off the heat and let the flavors infuse for 1 hour. Strain the mixture, then bring it back just to a boil. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Spray six to eight 2-ounce ramekins with non-stick coating spray and place them in a large roasting pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together until light in color and slightly thickened. Slowly pour in one fourth of the milk mixture, whisking briskly. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice. Stir until cool.
Pour the cooled flan mixture into the ramekins. Fill the roasting pan with very hot water, halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover with foil, crimping the foil over the baking pan, and bake until the custards are just set, about 20 minutes. Check carefully to avoid letting too much steam escape, or knocking water droplets off the foil into the custards. When cooked, remove the foil, take the ramekins out of the hot water, and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
To serve: Take the tarts out of the refrigerator and allow to warm at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Unmold the pistachio tarts and warm in the oven. Put the reduced muscat wine in a squeeze bottle and draw a spiral in the center of each serving plate. Place a tart to one side on each plate, overlapping the spiral slightly. Unmold a flan on each serving plate beside the tart. Sprinkle candied pistachios around the plate. Garnish each plate with a small quenelle of ice cream and more drizzles of reduced muscat wine. Add a pulled sugar or edible flower garnish if desired.