Pistachio mille crepe

Before I worked at Milk Bar, I never was a particularly huge fan of pistachios in desserts. I typically used them in things like dhukka or in salads, and I preferred using hazelnuts or almonds in my desserts instead(I did make pistachio desserts, but removing the damn shells also annoyed me and my fingernails to no end). But after tasting a delicious lemon-pistachio brioche on my first day at the bakery, it finally clicked for me. They are nutty, aromatic, fragrant, and they take on salt and sugar equally as well. There is an underlying savory note to pistachios, but that only makes for a more interesting dessert. So name dropping another bakery here, but as mentioned in a few posts before now, I love doing riffs on Lady M cakes. So much so, that I actually decided to tackle their iconic mille crepe, and in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and being green, I went with their pistachio flavored mille crepe in particular.

So the standard mille crepe for Lady M uses 20 layers. My recipe will yield anywhere from 25-30, giving you ample room to make mistakes or make layers thicker by accident if need be. I recommend pouring your crepe batter onto your nonstick holding your pan at an almost vertical angle, because that will allow the most coverage of batter to pan when you rotate. For my filling, I went with a pistachio based mousse. I did use a little matcha just to naturally dye the color green, but the flavor will be pistachio more than anything. You could also achieve a similar color using spirulina powder. I made the mousse by essentially making a pistachio milk. Now technically, I could have flavored the crepes with the pistachio milk as well, and that would be brilliant, but I opted not to in this case, since the version I was trying to replicate didn’t necessarily flavor their crepes with pistachio, just the filling. Now that being said, it wouldn’t be a bad idea, just to impart more flavor into the actual batter of the cake!

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Makes 1 8-inch mille crepe, about enough for 8 servings:
For the crepe batter:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 1/4 cups milk
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and browned
6 eggs

Combine ingredients together in a blender and pass through a sieve. Allow the batter to sit for an hour before using. Use about 3 tablespoons of batter per crepe on a lightly lined nonstick pan. Cook the crepe on one side on medium heat until the edges begin to separate from the pan and flip, allowing the crepe to cook on the other side for a further 30 seconds. Repeat this until you have about 20 layers.

For the pistachio mousse:
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 cup milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons gelatin powder + 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon matcha powder
2 cups heavy cream
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steep pistachios and matcha into the milk first, for about 10 minutes, on low heat. Strain out the pistachios and reserve. Combine sugar, egg yolks, salt, and temper with the pistachio-infused milk. Transfer to a blender and add in your bloomed gelatin and braised pistachios. Puree together until smooth and creamy. Finish with salt and vanilla, then pass through a sieve to remove any lumps (you shouldn’t really have any at this stage. If you do, transfer back into the blender and continue blending for 2-3 minutes longer, depending on how chunky the mixture is). Chill down the strained mixture until thickened, but not quite firm. Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold into the thickened mixture and store in a bowl, in the refrigerator until time to assemble.

To garnish:
1/2 cup shelled pistachios

Gently spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons of pistachio mousse between every layer. For the top layer, place the mousse into a piping bag lined with a round tip and pipe on a spiral of the mousse. Garnish with the pistachios to finish.

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