pistachio crème brûlée & fig sauce
Cleaning out the freezer yesterday revealed that there were pellets of pistachio paste hidden in the back that had been made a while ago.
I love finding hidden treasures, especially when a plan of how to use them instantly forms.
You may be asking yourself though “why were you cleaning out the freezer?”.
Well, that’s simple. I placed a glass-bottle of water in there the previous night & then proceeded to forget all about it.
I of course, found it the next morning.
Half asleep still & ready for my morning smoothie. You know, the one that follows the morning coffee. I opened the door to my icebox & it looked like Superman’s lair. Clear, menacing, icy shards protruded from every available space. It was clear oven gloves & a knife were going to be needed to clear that up.
I cleaned up, & I reaped the rewards of my misfortune... Namely the discovery of the pistachio paste. I happen to have a fridge full of fresh figs from a friend's farm too. Double whammy!
So here it is, my little pots of creamy happiness.
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Ingredients: (makes 6 to 10 depending on ramekin size) – 150g raw pistachios, shelled (weight after shelling) – 1 tbs pistachio oil – 75g sugar – 700ml heavy cream – 1 vanilla bean, sliced open lengthways – 4 large egg yolks – 0.25 tsp salt – extra sugar for later
Directions: 1. in a food processor combine the shelled pistachios, pistachio oil & sugar, pulse until a smooth paste is formed. You may need to stop every once in a while and scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is evenly processed. If you’d like to go the extra mile, transfer the mixture to a mortar & pestle to grind down even finer. 2. transfer the pistachio paste into a pot & add the heavy cream, & vanilla bean. Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-high heat, remove from the heat immediately & place the lid on the pot. Allow the mixture to steep for half an hour. 3. pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. With the back of a spoon, press what’s remaining of the nut mixture in the sieve to help squeeze out any remaining cream. 4. in another bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add a tablespoon of the cream mixture to the eggs & whisk immediately to temper the eggs. Add another tablespoon of the cream & continue to whisk. Lastly, add the egg mixture to the rest of the cream & whisk slowly till combined. Try not to over whisk so as not to froth up the mixture at all. 5. preheat the oven to 175ºC. Place your ramekins in a deep oven dish & fill with warm water, you want enough water to come up about half way on the ramekins. Any more water & it will be hard to transfer the dish into the oven without spilling. 6. fill the ramekins with the cream mixture until almost full. Carefully place the baking tray onto the centre rack of the oven & bake for 20-35 minutes. The baking time will change depending upon the size of the ramekins used. You will know when they are done by tapping them lightly on the side. When done, there will be a firm jiggle to them. If the jiggle is too liquidy, return to the oven & bake for another five minutes before checking again. Once done, remove from the oven & allow to cool whilst the ramekins are still in their water-bath, then place them in the fridge for four hours to allow to set properly. (these can be served the next day if you really want) 7. spoon between 1 to 2 tsps of sugar onto the top of each of the crème brûlées & using the back of a teaspoon, evenly distribute in a uniform layer. Using a torch, heat the sugar until it caramelizes. If you do not have a torch, you can stick the ramekins under the broiler until the tops have caramelized, this is not the ideal method, but it will work in a pinch. Serve immediately.
Ingredients, fig sauce: – 250g fresh figs, washed & peeled – 120g sugar – 1/4 tsp lemon zest – 1/4 tsp salt
Directions, fig sauce: 1. combine all the ingredients in a food processor & blend till smooth. Allow the mixture to sit, covered whilst the creme are baking & cooling. 2. there is no need to cook this mixture as the figs produce a thick liquid. Serve a dab either on top of the creme brulees when serving, or next to them on the dish.