Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pistachio Cherry Trifle

It's CHERRY SEASON! We were invited to a small dinner party where the guests all cooked a number of small dishes each. We thought it best to make a smaller dessert, since we could not imagine having enough room in our stomachs to eat an entire tart after the feast (or maybe we could, so it's best we did this instead). Dorie Greenspan had us salivating over Pierre Herme's Streusel Tart with Pistachios and Cherries from The Cook's Book. This served as our inspiration as we decided to deconstruct the dessert and turn a tart recipe into a trifle recipe.
Well, the original recipe called for a pastry tart filled with almond pistachio cream and cherries and topped with an almond streusel. We applied our architects' mind, developed over many years of intense study and carefully crafted individual pistachio cherry trifles.

See the recipe after the jump.

Individual Pistachio Cherry Trifles   serves eight in tall shot glasses

For the Cherry Syrup
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
1 red hot chili, chopped
3 cardamom pods
1/2 cup cherry wine
1/3 cup whiskey

For the Pistachio Crumble
1 1/2 tbs butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup ground pistachios
3 1/2 tbs pastry flour
Pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of salt

For the Pistachio Cream
1/2 cup skinned pistachios
2 drops pure almond extract
1 cup crème fraiche
2 tbs confectioners sugar

The Recipe
For the Cherries in Syrup
Pit the cherries (it's really handy to have a cherry pitter, but since we don't, we did it by hand and were left with purple stained fingers to prove it). Transfer the cherries to a pot. Add the chopped chili, cardamom pods, cherry wine and whiskey and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and let simmer for 45 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken, resembling a syrup. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

For the Pistachio Crumble
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter a 10 inch square baking pan. Combine the butter, sugar, ground almonds, ground pistachios, flour, ground cardamom and salt in a blender, pulsing a few times until the ingredients are incorporated. Place the crumble in a baking pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.

For the Pistachio Cream
Pound the pistachios with the almond extract in a mortar with a pestle until they form a paste (work those muscles girl!). Add the paste and the confectioners sugar into the crème fraiche and mix well.

To assemble the individual trifles: layer 2 tbs of pistachio crumble, followed by a dollop of pistachio cream and top with 2 tbs of cherries in syrup.

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