I personally love the combination of strawberry and pistachio. Strawberries are tart, sweet, and are just such a beautiful red color. Pistachios can be crunchy, creamy, smoky, and salty. The two really balance each other nicely, especially when sugar enhances both ingredients separately. Strawberries with sugar is such a simple combination, but the sugar really pulls the natural flavor out of the berries. With pistachios, sugar adds what the pistachios lack, aka sweetness, and really brings them into the realm of desserts and pastries. With these tartlets, I wanted do essentially do something that was less of an equipment-commitment as using a tart pan, but still embracing the idea of buttery, flaky pastry being contrasted with fresh fruit and something creamy.
With the components, I wanted there to be intention and technique behind most of them. The base is a pistachio sable, which is a fancy way of saying shortbread. These buttery cookies are made with ground pistachio for a more organic pistachio flavor. I took strawberries and roasted the in honey to intensify the flavor of them, and then puréed them to form a coulis. With the creamy component, I went with a pistachio yogurt, using white chocolate to give the yogurt more body and stability, as well as a diluted sweetness(white chocolate on its own is just disgustingly sweet, but in this case, the yogurt and pistachio balance that out and take full advantage of the white chocolate as a sweetener and emulsifier). The fresh strawberries are finished with an apricot glaze so they stay shiny and juicy. I also topped the tartlets with fresh nasturtium petals, just to add a slight pepper note to play off of the strawberries and pistachio.
For the honey-roasted strawberry coulis:
2oz strawberries, hulled and small diced
1 tbsp honey
A pinch of salt
1 tsp olive oil
Toss the ingredients together. Roast on a lined sheet tray at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Purée the mixture, adding just enough water to thin it out, and pass through a sieve.
For the pistachio sable:
2oz all-purpose flour
3 tbsp butter
1oz granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp green spirulina powder
1/4 tsp vanilla
Mix the ingredients together to form a dough. Chill the dough for 20 mins. Roll the dough out in a nonstick surface, and cut into 3-inch disks. Place the disks on a lined sheet tray, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
For the pistachio yogurt:
2oz ground pistachio
8oz water in two parts
2oz white chocolate
1 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tbsp cold water
6oz Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp green spirulina powder
Blend pistachios with one part of the water into a smooth liquid first. In a pot, melt down white chocolate and gelatin with the remaining water. Blend that into the pistachio mix first, then blend in the yogurt. Chill down in a bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then whisk in the remaining ingredients. Chill down again, covered, for another hour before transferring to a piping bag.
Fresh strawberries, cut into quarters
1 tbsp apricot preserves
2 tbsp hot water
a pinch of salt
Toss the strawberries in the apricot preserves, hot water, and salt to glaze them.
Start by piping a dollop of the pistachio yogurt on top of the sable. Using a spoon, form a hole on top of the yogurt, and pour in the coulis. Garnish the sides with the slices of strawberries. I used roughly 12 slices, or three strawberries, per tart to garnish.