Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pistachio, Lime & Cheesecake Tart

Is it just me or did Christmas come, and go, rather quickly this year? As much as I adore the Holidays I feel as though I didn't get much time to prepare, and therefore, little time to really enjoy Christmas. Any free time I have leading up to and during the Holidays I generally spend in the kitchen feverishly baking. I usually hold at least two big parties, and have many people in and out of the house for drinks, hot cocoa , or to watch old Christmas movies and bake cookies. This year I only had one real party at the very beginning of December, I didn't watch one Christmas movie, or to my horror bake one batch of Christmas cookies. I'm actually a little depressed about how un-fabulous the Holidays were in this sense. I did get to spend time with the people I love, and I saw one of my dearest friends I haven't spent time with in years. I also had quite a bit of time off, and relaxed. But it still just didn't feel like Christmas. We didn't even cook a Christmas dinner, we simply ate a gaggle of appetizers. I had, however, slightly prepared a dessert. You see a few days before Christmas I took our billing company a plateful of almond rocca cheesecake bites, and I had enough cheesecake batter leftover to make a nice thin layer of the creamy smooth stuff. Coincidentally, around the same time, my mother handed me a page torn from a magazine that displayed a beautiful lime and mascarpone tart with pistachio crust. Since I didn't have any motivation to go to the store, or to follow a recipe, I decided to make something of my own with my leftover cheesecake batter, the limes I had lying about the house for cocktails, and wouldn't you know it, the giant bag of pistachios one of my colleagues gave me for Christmas. No trip to the store required!

I started out by whipping up my favorite tart crust recipe, which generally calls for almonds, however I substituted the almonds for beautiful little green pistachios. Next was the very simple, but a little time consuming, and sweat inducing (you try standing in front of burner under hot stove lights for 15 minutes whisking your little heart away without breaking a little sweat) lime curd. And perhaps the easiest of all was pouring my leftover batter into my spring form and popping the sucker in the oven. All that was left to do, after the cooling of each component of course, was assembling. Easy peasy. And viola, you have yourself a delicious, and fairly uncomplicated dessert. And with accents of green nonetheless, perfect for a little Christmas cheer.

Recipe: Pistachio, Lime and Cheesecake Tart

What you will need for the tart crust:

1 stick plus 1 Tb. butter, cut in small pieces
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup pistachios
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk

Tart Crust Directions:

1. In a food processor, pulse all the dry ingredients.
2. Add the butter and pulse again.
3. Add the egg yolk and pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball. (This step is SO COOL!)
4. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate as you prepare the filling.
5. Roll between sheets of plastic wrap and lay over tart pan, cut off any excess and press crust firmly into crevices.
6. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

The dough likes to puff up, so either keep an eye on it and pat it down with the back of a spoon, OR fill the pie with beans (with a layer of parchment between the beans and crust of course) to prevent puffing.


Par said...

Wishing you a happy and sweet 2008!!!!

Unknown said...

Wow that looks fab. I too spend this holiday at my parents so no cooking or major partying, however I spend time with my hubby and family and it was a nice change.
Hope you have a wonderful year with lots of time for celebrations, baking and partying:-)

Sylvia said...

Nice recipe , I love the pistachio topping so creative.
Have a wonderful 2008

Deborah Dowd said...

This looks and sounds so great...and very different. Even though I have sworn off desserts for awhile, I will have to give this one a try as a treat!

Julie said...

This sounds like a very good combination, I will have to give this a try.