Monthly Mingle #10 - Spring is in the air
- Dear Winter,
You're always staying away from Singapore, hence I can't enjoy the awaking of the nature in spring. No sprouting daffodils, no growing strawberries, no longer daylight, none from all of those nice feeling coming with the warmer seasons. Anyway you cold old man, I enjoy these months. Spring (in the northern regions of this planet) starts exactly at my birthday, only every fourth year a day earlier. So it's my personal right to celebrate this season and beeing in a "spring-mood". And in this mood I've already decorated the house and now I'm going to take part in Meeta's Monthly Mingle event with her theme "Spring is in the air".
Here in Singapore almost everything is imported sometimes even airflown. Most time of the year we can chose our "culinary-seasons". But it is not an easy task to prepare something with the needed ingredients when it comes to your mind to make this or that. I think it's a kind of Murphy's law that always I want to make something for example with cherries I have to travel the whole island on my search for them without getting a single cherry. The same with Kipfler potatoes, figs, edable flowers, mint leaves, rhubarb, kohlrabi, lamb's lettuce, horseradish, diakon radish, (really fresh) asparagus, peaches, and so on. Even with cuverture, some marmelade brands, speciality oils, and that kind of stuff. If they're sold out, you often have to wait around 2 months until they get stock. For heaven's sake there are plenty of strawberries available from the USA, Japan, and Korea right now and I can fullfill my dream of a nutty, chocolaty, fruity
with pistaccio-shortcrust pastry and a crème pâtissière for this event.
Ingredients for the pastry:
50 gicing/powder sugar
200gunbleached, organic, stoneground flour
30gblanched, ground pistaccios
110 gcold butter, cubed (to use cold butter in "my" tiny not-airconditioned kitchen is something impossible)
Whisk the egg together with the sugar. Pour in flour, pistacchios and add the butter. And with a spatula a knife or your fingers blend the dough together until combined but still crumbly.
Butter a 24 cm tart mold and dust with flour, ground nuts or breadcrumbs.
Press the dough into the form, cover with baking/parchment paper and lay out with some pie weights or some leguminoses. Refrigerate about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Blind bake the tart for about 50 minutes, prove if it's done with a bamboo skrewer. Let cool.
Ingredients for the crème pâtisière/pastry cream:
65 gcaster sugar
1vanilla bean (preferably Tahitian), seeds scraped out
2egg yolks, lightly beaten
1pinch Kosher salt
16 gunsalted butter
Combine the corn starch with 25 g of the sugar, stir in 60 ml of the milk. Blend the egg yolks in this mixture until smooth.
Combine the remaining sugar, milk, salt, and the vanilla bean in a bain marie/dobble boiler. Heat over a water bath until almost boiling. Discard the vanilla bean. Gradually whisk in the egg-starch-mixture. Whisk the batter over medium-high heat until thickened for about 7 minutes.
Transfer the bowl with the hot cream to an ice bath. Stir in the butter and cool the mixture stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.
Either pour 2 spoons melted butter, 2 spoons sugar, a sheet parchment paper or cling flim over the surface to prevent that a skin forms. Refrigerate.
Ingredients for the strawberry-topping:
700 gfresh strawberries
300 gcuverture of your choice (I used 260 g cuverture with 33% cocoa content and mixed it with 40 g white cocolate pestils from Michel Cruizel)
30 gpistaccios, blanched
Wash the strawberries and pad dry them with kitchen paper.
Melt the dark chocolate over low heat in a bain marie/double boiler. If using white pestils let them just melt a bit in the warm chocolate to create a marble effect.
Cover one third of the strawberries with chocolate and let dry on a cooling rack.
Spread the remaining melted chocolate over the baked and cooled shortcrust pastry.
Refrigerate until firm.
Spread the pastry cream on it and arrange the strawberries on the cake. Sprinkle the pistaccios over them.
I had about 1 Tbsp dark cuverture with 72% cocoa content left from my former bakeries. I melted it and drizzled it over the readyly decorated cake.