Well yesterday was pretty exciting for me.  My wife's due date is less than a week away and I had Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin, one of my favorite bands ever, and girlfriend Patty Griffin coming to lunch.  I was worried my wife could go into labor and I could miss out on this unique opportunity.  Luckily my wife hasn't gone into labor yet and I was able to complete the lunch.  I had some ideas on what to make for lunch but nothing really locked in.  I had some beets and wanted to use them some how.  I had some sunchokes which I wanted to make gnocchi with and incorporate ricotta and meyer lemons.   Dessert I had no idea about but went to the store and pistachios popped in my head.  I had this awesome pistachio cake in London a few months back and thought about trying to recreate that.  I thought about frangipane with pistachios or financier which I absolutely love.  I decided to do a pistachio financier which is a browned butter almond cake normally.  I thought of making pistachio ice cream which in my mind I hope was going to taste like pistachio gelato from Italy.  I combined the cake with raspberries and candied pistachios.  I think it thought it turned out really and so did they.


Pistachio Financier

2 cups of pistachios shelled

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup of cornstarch

3/4 cup of sugar

5 egg whites

1 stick of butter browned

1 tsp of vanilla

1 tbsp of pistachio extract or almond

Pistachio Ice cream

2 1/4 cup of whole milk

2 1/4 cup of heavy cream

1 1/3 cup of sugar

6 egg yolks

1 tsp of vanilla

1 tbsp of pistachio extract or almond

Pistachio paste

2 cups of pistachios

1/3 cup of grapeseed oil

Raspberry Coulis

8 oz raspberries

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of sugar

Candied Pistachios

1 cup of shelled pistachios

3 tbsp of water

1/2 cup powdered sugar

pinch of salt

pinch of curry powder

Preheat oven 400

Take all the 4 cups of pistachios (2 for ice cream and 2 for the cake) and place on a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 6 minutes.  This will brighten the green up a little in the pistachios and start to release the oil to give a slightly roasted flavor.  You don't want to brown them though.  Take the pan out and let it cool.  Then take 2 cups and place in a food processor.  While the processor is on pureeing the pistachios pour in the grapeseed oil to make a smooth paste. 

Place milk and cream in a pot and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile take egg yolks and sugar and whisk in a kitchen aid mixer until they are light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Ladle in the milk and cream mixture into the eggs to temper them.  Once you have about half of the milk mixture tempered into the egg mixture you can pour all of it back into the original pot.  Turn the heat on low and cook for about 5 minutes.  Then take off the heat and place the custard mixture into a heat proof bowl.  Make an ice bath and place to heat proof bowl of custard mixture into the ice bath to cool down fast.  Stir occasionally so the custard can cool fast.  Once cooled, fold the pistachio paste into the custard.  Place the custard mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the directions of your ice cream maker.  Should take about 30 minutes or so.  Once done place the ice cream into a container and keep in the freezer. 

Candied Pistachios

In a bowl add water, powdered sugar, salt, and curry powder.  Mix well with a whisk.  Then pour in the pistachios and mix well.  Pour on to a sheet pan lined with a silt mat and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Every 5 minutes take a spatula and mix the nuts around so that they cook evenly.  After they are golden brown and dry take out and cool.

For the Raspberry coulis

Take raspberries, water and sugar and place into a small pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Cook for about 6 minutes and then puree with hand blender or with a regular one.  Strain if you want a clean sauce or if you want texture leave as is.

For the cake

Add one stick of butter to a small saute pan and place on high heat.  You want to brown the butter so it smells like toasted nuts.  What happens is the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan and brown which will turn your butter brown.  But do not burn ( very easy to do)  This will give a burnt taste to your cake which you do not want.  You want brown, toasty, buttery flavor.  Once the butter starts to brown take off the heat.

In a food processor place nuts, sugar, flours and puree until smooth.  Add the egg whites one at a time until all are incorporated.  Finish with extracts until completely incorporated.  Spray muffin pans, ramekins, or mini cast iron skillets (what ever you want the shape to be) and fill two thirds of the mold.  Place a raspberry in the center of the cake.  Lower the oven to 350 and bake for 15 minutes or until the cake comes out clean with a toothpick.  Cool for 5 minutes

To serve take the warm cake and place on the plate.  Add a line of raspberry coulis topped with candied pistachios.  Add the ice cream and enjoy!