The idea for this came to me after making some salt crusted oysters a few years ago. The idea is that the salt mixture will form a crust as it is heat and protect the oyster from extreme heat and from loosing moisture. The idea here is to add a few more ingredients and cut back on the amount of salt.
I found that the amount of salt can be adjusted to your liking, but with the addition of something sweet, such as crystallized ginger, you can balance out the saltiness. These make a great snack as well as a garnish for salads
Salt and Crystallized Ginger Crusted Pistachios
1ea Egg white
1/2C Crystallized Ginger
1ea Vanilla Bean
– Pre-heat your oven to 350°, 275° if using a convection oven.
- Begin by measuring out all of your ingredients and keeping them all separate. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the bowl of pistachios.
- Whip your egg white to medium/stiff peaks.
- Using a rubber spatula fold in the ginger and salt.
- Add the pistachios and vanilla bean to the egg whites and mix until combined.
- Place the Pistachios on a parchment lined tray and bake at 350° with no fan, if you have a fan, cut the temperature down to 275°. Bake for 10 minutes or until they begin to brown.
- Alternatively you can place them in a dehydrator or a 150° degree oven overnight. I recommend drying them this way as you will get a better crust to form without the sugars turning brown.
Pistachios are by far my favorite nut, and buying pistachio oil can get very expensive. I use a small handful of parsley to get a vibrant green color into the oil and then let the pistachios do the rest.
2C Pistachios (shelled)
3C Grapeseed oil or another mild oil
2C Parsley (stems and leaves)
- Combine the oil and pistachios in a pot and heat to 150°F. This will help the pistachios release their natural oils and flavors. Oil heats very quickly so be careful and watch your thermometer.
- Prepare an ice bath and a metal container to pour the hot oil into.
- Place parsley in a high-speed blender such as a Vita-mix, food processors work but they need to run longer.
- Pour the hot oil and pistachios over the parsley and blend until very smooth and the oil turns green. Be very careful when blending hot liquids in a high-speed blender! The heat can cause the liquid to shoot the top off of a blender if not used properly. Variable speed blenders are recommended so you can start slow and step up to high-speed.
- Once the oil is green, immediately pour it into a metal container in the ice bath. This will prevent the parsley from turning black and in turn ruining the oil.
- Prepare a strainer or china cap with a coffee filter and once the oil has cooled, pour it carefully through the coffee filter. This may need to be done in multiple steps depending on the size of your filters.
- Place the oil in the refrigerator over night while it strains. Infused oils should always be stored in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria from forming. The straining process can take 1-2 days but let it strain at its own speed for optimal flavor.
The strained pistachio oil looks very similar to freshly pressed olive oil.
I love pumpkin pie around the holidays but feel that it could use a little face lift to make it more fun. I have converted non-pumpkin pie lovers to liking this and it’s mostly because of the crust. The filling is a standard mix of pumpkin puree and holiday spices. The key to making it even better is to roast your own pumpkins, and now is the time to be doing this.
Pistachio Tart Dough
3C AP Flour
1t Vanilla extract
1ea Egg yolk
We send our butter through a grater then freeze it to help us “sand” the dough quicker. If you do not want to grate it, you can just cube into half inch cubes.
- Roast pistachios at 350°F until fragrant; let cool in freezer. Grate or cube butter and keep cool, if using grated butter, leave it in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
- Once pistachios have cooled, pulse them in a food processor until very fine.
- Add sugar, flour, and salt; process until it all looks like flour. Do not over process, you do not want your flour heating up too much. Place the flour on a tray and put it into the freezer to cool.
- When ready to mix, combine the butter with the pistachio flour in a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment. Mix to create a sandy texture, be sure not to over mix. If there are still chunks of butter, rub them between your fingers to break them up and re-incorporate them into the flour.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix with the paddle on low speed, at the same time, stream the water into the flour. Mix until the dough starts to clump.
Dough beginning to clump
- Dump the dough onto a work surface and, using your hands, press the dough together and gently knead it until all of the dry flour is incorporated. Wrap well and refrigerate for a few hour to stiffen the dough.
- Roll the dough out to the desired size, making sure that it is about a 1/4″ thick. Place the dough in the tart shells and press it all the way around with your fingers.
Our Metal tart molds have a removable base and are non-stick.
Pressing the dough into the mold.
- Egg wash the shell and par-bake at 350°F until it begins to color. Remove and cool.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
3C Cooked Sugar Pumpkin Puree
1t Ground Ginger
If you do not want to venture into cooking your own pumpkins you can use canned pumpkin instead with this recipe, but I assure you, a fresh roasted pumpkin is the way to go. If you choose to roast your own, split the pumpkin in half and clean out the seeds. Add a couple chunks of butter, a little salt, and roast at 375°F until it is soft. Let it cool, then puree it in a food processor.
- Combine the first set of ingredients and mix with a paddle until incorporated. If mixing by hand, use a whisk.
- Once combined, add one egg at a time and mix until the egg is incorporated.
- Add a little Half&Half at a time, while mixing until incorporated.
- This mix will keep for about four days. Pour the batter all the way up to the top of the par-baked tart shells, but don’t let it flow over.
- Bake at 350°F until the filling is light and somewhat firm in the middle. If it begins cracking around the edges, pull them out of the oven immediately.
Pumpkin pie with a pistachio tart shell, candied ginger, toasted pumpkin seeds, and whipped cream.