Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Pistachio and Almond Tart with Orange and Cardamom

I got this recipe out of the wonderful Casa Moro Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark. The Moro cookbooks are exotic yet unpretentious and I can't recommend them highly enough.

This tart is beautifully fragrant and aromatic, perfect for these warm days of late summer. You can make the tart case well in advance and if you struggle to find blanched pistachios you can substitute with the shelled, unsalted kind. Also if you don't have a food processor you can grind everything by hand, although you'll be there quite some time!

Prep Time: 20 Mins (Not including chilling/freezing time!)
Baking Time: 60 Mins
For the pastry case
225g Plain Flour
1/2Tsp Fine Salt
50g Caster Sugar
12 Green Cardamom pods (Just the black seeds, ground finely)
250g Unsalted Butter
1 Egg Yolk

For the filling
200g Blanched Almonds
300g Blanched Pistachios
250g Caster Sugar
15 Green Cardamom pods (Just the black seeds, ground finely to about 1/4Tsp)
150ml Orange Juice
4 Egg Yolks
Zest of 1 Medium Orange

For the glaze
1 Egg Yolk
2Tbsp Milk or Cream

To make the pastry case, combine the flour, salt, sugar and ground cardamom in a food processor with the butter. Pulse it together until only small lumps of butter remain. Add in the yolk, then process for a further 20 seconds. Turn it out into a bowl then finish bringing it together by hand. Press the dough out until about 2cm think, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Roll out the dough on a cool, lightly floured surface, until about 5mm thick and use to line a 24cm tart tin (Don't worry if it cracks a bit). Prick the base and freeze, which can be done well in advance.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Take the tart case out of the freezer, line with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and bake for 20mins (Until the pastry has set). Remove the beans and parchment then return to the oven until the pastry has an even light golden colour. Whilst it is cooling you can start on the filling. In a food processor combine the nuts, sugar and cardamom, then grind as fine as possible. You'll find the nuts start to release their oil and go a bit cakey, which is what you want. Slowly add the orange juice until you are left with a smooth paste. Let the paste cool for a few minutes as all that processing will cause it to warm somewhat, then add the yolks and zest and process again until incorporated.

Spread the filling into the pastry shell and smooth over the top (Using a wet spatula will help). Do this carefully, as to not damage the pastry. Bake in the oven (Same temperature as before) for about 15 minutes, just to dry the top. Then brush on the glaze (Just mix the egg yolk and milk/cream together) and bake for 10 minutes more until golden. Yum yum yum!

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