Raspberry and Pistachio Tarts
Ned has been pretty obsessed with tart tins recently, resulting in a much unnecessary amount of tins in our kitchen. They come in all shapes and sizes: big, not so big, small, super small, fluted, non-fluted, round, rectangular, removable base and the unremovable ones. I expect this collection to grow even more. It’s pretty odd for someone who used to run away from tart making. Now, all Ned loves doing are tarts. Not that I’m complaining, when there’s always something delicious at the end of the day.
It’s not uncommon to see a variety of immaculate mini tartlets sitting behind a clear glass of most patisseries. They usually are round and at about 8cm in diameter. (No idea why 8cm became the standard measurement for individual tart portions.) And Ned managed to get her hands on some of these particular tart tins after plenty of searching.
Most tarts that feature fruits usually do not incorporate them into the filling (not including my all-time favourite tarte au citron) which I find it rather odd. Be it apple, pear or apricots, the fruits are often made to do their most natural duties of adding a tartness to the dish and being wonderful decor pieces. The raspberry tarts we have made here are no different. But what is interesting here is that the crust contains pistachio, which is a great pair with the raspberries. Having just three raspberries on each tart really is not enough. We kept popping on more of the scarlet jewels into our mouth as we dug into the tarts.
Raspberry and Pistachio Tart
By Richard Bertinet, Pastry
For the Sweet Pistachio Pastry
(makes 36 tartlets or 1 large 26cm tart with enough left over to make smaller tarts)
250g plain flour
100g ground pistachio nuts
2 eggs plus one yolk
pinch of salt
For the Almond Cream
125g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
25g plain flour
1 tablespoon Poire William liqueur, or rum
For the Creme Patissiere
125g full-fat milk
1/2 vanilla pod
1.5 egg yolks
30g caster sugar
13g plain flour
200g clear apricot jam, for the glaze
2 punnets of raspberries
50g ground pistachios, to finish
Lightly grease and flour three 12-hole tart tines, or a square tin, 19.5 x 2.5cm.
Stir the flour, ground pistachio nuts and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the flattened butter, cold straight from the fridge into the flour and rub in the mixture, until mixture looks like crumbs.
Add the sugar and toss well in the mixture. Then add the eggs and egg yolk to the mixture and gently mix with a dough scraper, until the dough comes together in a ball.
Lightly flour a work surface, tip the pastry ball out onto it and knead until you have a smooth soft dough.
Shape the pastry into a square, to make it easier to roll out later on.
Place the dough in the fridge to chill for an hour minimum, preferably overnight, to rest.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick for tartlets or 5mm thick for a large tart with a rolling pin and line the tin. Use the rolling pin to roll on top of the tin to cut off the excess pastry dough. Then put into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
To make the almond cream, beat the butter until very soft. Add the sugar and ground almonds and mix. Then mix in the flour, then the eggs and the alcohol. Transfer to a small bowl and put in the fridge for 15 minutes.
To make the creme patissiere, put the milk into a heavy-based saucepan. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla pod along its length, scrape the seeds into the milk, then put the halved pods in too.
Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk until pale and creamy. Add the flour and mix until smooth.
Put the pan of milk over a medium heat and bring to just under the boil. Remove the vanilla pod. Slowly pour half of it into the egg mixture, whisking well as you do so. Add the remainder of the milk and whisk again, then pour the mixture back into the pan. Bring it to the boil, whisking all the time, then keep boiling and whisking continuously for 1 minute. Take off the heat. Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and cover the surface of the bowl with cling wrap straight away to prevent a skin forming. Allow it to cool.
Mix the almond cream and creme patissiere together in a bowl. Using a spoon or a piping bag, fill the pastry case to the top with the mixed cream. Bake the tartlets for 15-20 minutes and the large tart for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before lifting out and cooling on a rack.
For the glaze, put the jam into a pan with a tablespoon or two of water, and bring to just under a simmer – don’t let it boil or the jam will become too gooey to spread properly. Using a pastry brush, lightly glaze the top of the tart.
To decorate the tartlets, sprinkle the tops with ground pistachios, then glaze lightly. Place a row of raspberries down the middle and lightly glaze again.
Make sure that the ground pistachio nuts are dry or they’ll affect the consistency of the dough.
The creme patissiere has to be placed on high heat to allow the flour to cook or there’ll be a flour taste to the creme patissiere which you would want to avoid. You will have to keep stirring the creme patissiere to prevent it from burning as it is on high heat.