Pistachio praline dacquoise pt 1

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
⅔ cup Shelled natural pistachio nuts
¾ cup Plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Cornstarch
4 larges Egg whites
¼ teaspoon Cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon Salt if using unsalted pistachio nuts
2 drops Green food coloring if desired
½ cup Plus 2 tablespoons sugar
⅓ cup Shelled natural pistachio nuts
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1 cup Milk
1 large Whole egg
1 large Egg yolk
2 tablespoons Unsalted butter; cut into bits
2 tablespoons Kirsch; or to taste
1 \N Envelope; (1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
¼ cup Cold water
1 cup Well-chilled heavy cream
\N \N Confectioners' sugar for dusting the dacquoise
10 \N Shelled natural pistachio nuts; blanched and peeled, for garnish



Line 2 buttered baking sheets with foil or parchment paper and trace a total of three 13- by 4-inch rectangles on the sheets of foil (2 on one sheet and 1 on the other).

Make the meringue layers: In a food processor grind fine the pistachio nuts with ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the cornstarch. In a large bowl with an 2electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and the salt until they hold soft peaks, beat in the remaining ½ cup sugar, a little at a time, and the food coloring, and beat the whites until they hold stiff glossy peaks. Fold in the pistachio mixture gently but thoroughly and transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip. Starting along an edge of a rectangle, pipe the meringue onto the prepared foil, filling in 2 of the rectangles. Outline the edges of the remaining rectangle with 2 rows of the meringue, leaving the center free, and bake the meringues in a preheated 250°F. oven, switching the sheets from one rack to the other after 30 minutes, for 1 to 1¼ hours, or until the meringues are firm and dry when touched. Let the meringues cool on the sheets, slide the foil off the sheets, and peel the meringues off the foil carefully. The meringues may be made 1 day in advance and kept wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature.

Make the filling: In a small skillet, preferably non-stick, cook ¼ cup of the sugar, undisturbed, over moderate heat until it begins to melt, cook it, stirring with a fork, until it is melted completely and turns a golden caramel, and add the pistachio nuts, stirring until they are coated well.

Pour the mixture immediately onto a piece of foil and let it cool completely. Break the praline into pieces and grind it fine in a food processor. In a heavy saucepan dissolve the cornstarch in ¼ cup of the milk, stir in the remaining ¾ cup milk and the remaining ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring. In a heatproof bowl whisk together the whole egg and the egg yolk, add the milk mixture in a stream, whisking, and transfer the pastry cream to the pan.

Bring the pastry cream to a boil, whisking, and simmer it, whisking, for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, whisk in the butter and the kirsch, whisking until the butter is incorporated, and force the pastry cream through a fine sieve into a metal bowl. Stir in the praline and let the pastry cream cool completely, its surface covered with plastic wrap. The filling may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. In a small saucepan sprinkle the gelatin over the water, let it soften for 1 minute, and heat the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring, until the gelatin is dissolved and the liquid is hot. Whisk the gelatin mixture into the pastry cream, set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water, and stir the pastry cream until it is thickened but not set. Remove the bowl

from the ice water. In a chilled bowl with an electric mixer beat the heavy cream until it just holds stiff peaks, whisk one third of it into the pastry cream to lighten it, and fold in the remaining cream gently but thoroughly. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip.

Arrange a solid meringue rectangle, rough side up, on a platter and pipe some of the filling decoratively in rows down the length of it to continued in part 2

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