Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pistachio Creme Brulee

4 ounces (1 cup) shelled pistachios, unsalted
5 T sugar
2 cups heavy cream
pinch salt
3 egg yolks
5-6 T extra sugar for torching

Preparing the brulee:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast pistachios on a baking sheet in a single layer for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Rub the pistachios together to remove the skins. When cool, pulse the pistachios and sugar in a food processor until finely chopped, but not a paste.

Place the nuts, cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until it becomes hot. Remove from heat, cover with lid and let steep for 30 minutes.

Boil a pot of water. Pour the contents from the saucepan through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Run a clean kitchen towel under cold water and wring out as much water as possible. Dump the pistachio solids into the center of the towel, wrap the edges of the towel up around the nut meat, and squeeze any excess liquid out into the bowl. Discard the pistachios. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and pour the cream while whisking. Pour the mixture through the fine mesh sieve into ramekins.

Place ramekins in a large roasting pan and pour the boiling water into the pan taking great care not to let the water run into the ramekins. Bake for approximately 20 to 35 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the oven and the water bath. Let cool, then refrigerate for 4 hours. Twenty minutes before serving, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator. Just before serving, sprinkle a tablespoon or more of sugar on top of each custard and carefully shake it around to evenly distribute. Light propane torch and apply heat to the sugar until it browns and bubbles or place all of the ramekins on a baking sheet and put under the broiler until sugar is caramelized. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6


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