Deconstructed Cherry Pistachio Trifle Recipe

Deconstructed Cherry Pistachio Trifle Recipe Recipe

This is my artsy interpretation of a deconstructed trifle. We had lovely guests flying in from Atlanta and I wanted to finish our meal with a wow factor. I displayed a wide array of colors using pistachios and cherries (the first ones harvested from our garden). 

The cake portion of the dessert is an almond croquant. The thick custard was made with vanilla beans, sherry, mascarpone cheese and whipped cream. I also wanted to contrast the warmth from the croquant with Indian pistachio ice cream. The dessert was the perfect balance of flavor, texture and heat.

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings

2 dozen cherries, ripe
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 whole almonds (optional), peeled (blanched)
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and softened
¼ cup milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, + extra for dusting
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup cherry coulis (recipe follows)
6 scoops pistachio ice cream
¼ cup freshly crushed roasted and salted pistachios


Directions

For the vanilla bean mascarpone custard:

In a stainless-steel mixing bowl, using an electric handheld mixer, whisk the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar until the texture thickens. Make a "double boiler" (a pot filled with hot water, covered with a piece of cloth) and place the bowl filled with whisked egg on top. Whisk the egg mixture at full speed for about 2-3 minutes. Check the temperature of the eggs; they should feel warm to the touch. Remove from the double boiler. Add half the vanilla bean seeds and continue whisking at full speed for about 2-3 minutes. Make sure the eggs are whisked for a long time, so the custard is light and airy. 

In another mixing bowl, whisk and soften the mascarpone cheese. Add the mascarpone cheese to the egg yolk. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream (at low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Increase to maximum speed and keep beating for another 2-3 minutes, until it forms soft peaks. Do not over-beat or the texture will become grainy.

Pour 1/3 of the whipped cream into the vanilla mascarpone cream. Mix well using a silicone spatula. Pour in the rest of the whipped cream; gently fold the whipped cream to get an airy mousse. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.

For the almond croquant:

Coarsely chop the peeled almonds and place them in a mortar and pestle. Grind into a coarse mill. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, cream the butter with the granulated sugar and half the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix using the back of a fork (or a stainless-steel pastry blender) until it forms sandy crumbs of butter, sugar and flour. Add the coarsely chopped almonds (if using) and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Slowly add the cold milk and blend until it forms a barely wet dough. Do NOT over-mix. Cover with a towel and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Line 6 cavities of a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Top with the chilled dough (divided equally) and spread an even layer in each liner. Sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Delicately unmold the croquants and discard the liners. Transfer to individual serving plates. Set aside.

Assembly:

Top the warm almond croquant with a scoop of pistachio ice cream. Accompany the dessert with a scoop of vanilla bean mascarpone custard by forming 2 quenelles (Using 2 tablespoons, gather one portion of the mascarpone mixture in one spoon. Scrape the loose mixture from the sides using the other spoon. Repeat between the 2 spoons until the mound is tightly packed. Slide the mound of mascarpone onto the serving plate). Drizzle with a few teaspoons of cherry coulis. Sprinkle with the crushed pistachios. Garnish with fresh cherries and dust with a little powder sugar. 

Serve warm with a hot cup of tea.

Bon appétit!


Tips

How to make cherry coulis: Combine 1 pint pitted cherries, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1½ teaspoons cornstarch in mini- food prep. Add 2-3 tablespoons water for an easy flow and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat 2 to 4 minutes until the mixture is thickened, stirring constantly. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. Add a drop of red food coloring, if desired.

The cherries from our garden were extremely sweet and juicy. If that's not the case, you could sprinkle them with a bit of sugar.

If you have any nut allergies (which is the case for one person in our household), you can omit the almonds and the dessert will still be delicious.

You can prepare the croquants in advance and store them in the refrigerator overnight. 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 23, 2014.


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