Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate, we had this festive dessert:
Okay, so it doesn’t look very festive from the outside. Actually, it looks downright plain. Homely. FRUMPY. There, I said it. But it has a surprise inside…
Pistachio Marzipan Brownie Tart
For the Brownie Portion:
- 9 oz all-purpose flour (1-3/4 cups)
- ⅓ cup Cocoa (Dutch-process)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter chilled and cubed
- 1 egg well beaten
For the Pistachio Filling:
- 10½ oz pistachio marzipan (see below)
- about ½-¾ of a beaten egg (reserve the rest for glazing)
- Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and run the food processor until the dough comes together. Try not to eat all the dough. Divide the dough into ⅓ and ⅔ portions, shape in discs, wrap separately in plastic and refrigerate. Chill for one hour. It can be made the day before, but will need to warm up before rolling to prevent it from breaking up.
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and grease a 9" cake pan.
- Mix the pistachio paste with enough beaten egg to make a fairly soft, spreadable filling. Set aside. Roll out the larger portion of dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until it is about 1" larger than your pan on all sides. Make sure there are no creases in the plastic wrap. Use this piece of dough to line the pan, pressing it to the sides of the pan so it doesn't fall inward. Spread the pistachio paste evenly over the dough and fold in the dough edges so they rest on it. Reuse the plastic wrap to roll the smaller piece of dough into an 8½" circle. It should be slightly smaller than the cake pan. Trim it so the edges are neat. Moisten the edges of the dough in the pan and lay the smaller circle on top. Press the edges gently together to seal. Brush with the leftover beaten egg and prick with a fork in several places.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Leave to cool in the pan, then transfer carefully to a serving plate. If you can stand it, wrap this and let it sit for a day or two before serving for best flavor.
- 10 ounces pistachios (283 grams), shelled
- 7 ounces granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 2 egg whites
- If you want naturally bright green marzipan, first blanch the pistachios: bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pistachios and blanch for 30 seconds to one minute. Test one by running it under cold water and seeing if the reddish skin comes off easily. If so, drain and rinse with cold water. Now, one by one, squeeze the pistachios to remove the skin. This is what keeps the marzipan bright green. Once they are all skinned, place on a towel-lined baking tray and allow to dry for at least 3 hours. Do not dry in the oven, as the color may fade.
- Combine pistachios and sugar in a food processor and grind as finely as desired.
- Add egg whites and process until well blended. If you didn't blanch the pistachios and the marzipan is a little brown, you can add a drop or two of green food coloring. Scrape into a container and refrigerate or freeze. This keeps well, and is best made in advance.
Pistachio Ice Cream
- 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3/4 cup unsalted shelled pistachios , toasted, coarsely chopped
- Finely grind 1 cup pistachios and 1/4 cup sugar in processor. Bring milk and ground pistachio mixture to boil in heavy large saucepan. Remove from heat. Mix in almond extract.
- Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Cook over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes (do not boil). Strain into large bowl. Chill until cold, about 2 hours.
- Stir 1 cup whipping cream and chopped pistachios into custard. Process mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.