When it comes to desserts I definitely fall into the ‘hearty’ pudding category rather than the dainty. I have the philosophy that if you’re going to have a pudding, then don’t hold back. However, the more comforting desserts can often not necessarily be the prettiest and I fancied making something that might look quite impressive on a plate.
I had my brother JJ and his wife Vix coming up for Sunday dinner and the main course was sorted but I debated for a while over what to make for dessert. I wanted it to be something I’d never tried before just to take me out of my comfort zone. I’d recently bought some little tartlet tins and thought I ought to try and make something that put them to use.
As I’ve had a bit of a pistachio craze recently, I had a few left in the packet to use up so started searching for something that; meant I could use my tartlet tins, involved pistachios but didn’t involve pastry!
Not easy criteria to fulfil but I was totally won-over (and a little intimidated) when I saw the recipe for brown butter, raspberry and pistachio tartlets (by the wonderful Little Loaf).
I was now familiar with brown butter after making financiers recently but the rest of the recipe would be all new techniques to me.
JJ and Vix would either be in for a feast or would need to tuck in to the main course.
I followed the method as closely as I could and started with the tartlet shells. I seem to struggle with pastry so the idea of making a base that didn’t involve flour definitely appealed to me. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing, or what it should look like, but actually it was really simple.
With the butter melted and added to the ground almonds, maple syrup and salt, all you had to do was mix up the ingredients and press them in to your tins. A few pricks with a fork all over and repeated again after about 10 minutes in the oven and you’ve got lovely tartlet cases!
In retrospect I think I could have made the bases thinner but that’s something you learn once you have some confidence with a recipe and can see the result.
The pastry cream was super easy to bring together into a thick creamy texture and popped in the fridge to firm up.
The last part is the fun part where you can take a stab at making your dessert look impressive!
I got all the ingredients out and ready that would create my dessert masterpiece. Beautiful fresh pink raspberries, dark green chopped pistachios, golden tartlet shells, creamy thick pastry cream and finally some dark chocolate melted.
I piped on the pastry cream in a swirling effect into each shell, dotted it with raspberries and sprinkled it with the pistachios. Finally I swished chocolate over the top.
The browned butter and maple syrup base gave such a lovely rich nutty flavour against the vanilla cream which was cut through by the sharp raspberries. The pistachios provided a lovely little crunch to the topping and the chocolate drizzle just brought it all together in to a beautiful looking dessert.
I think sometimes a little bit of fancy can be rather nice!