Guest Blog Post: Bracha Arnold
Hi! I’m Bracha, a friend of Alison’s from way back. We met in seminary in Israel, and while everyone knew that Alison loved to cook, I had no idea that I loved the culinary arts as well. A few years later, I now work for a kosher travel company called Kosher Culinary Adventures. Aside from bringing guests all over Europe (we have trips in Tuscany, Provence, North Italy and Andalusia so far!) we also prepare three meals daily for them, making sure they get to experience the local cuisine, while being strictly kosher.
~a magical village in Provence, South of France~
This recipe is one of my favorite show-stopper desserts, with its nutty, pistachio-flavored crust, smooth chocolate ganache and fruit topping. Aside from being gorgeous, (relatively) simple and delicious, it is also parve. It can be made dairy if you want by swapping the coconut oil and cream for butter and regular cream, but is fantastic as a parve dish. I top it with sliced strawberries, but if they’re not in season or you prefer other fruit, try raspberries or pomegranate seeds for a festive Rosh Hashana and sukkot flair.
For this dessert, I had my local nut merchant at the shuk (market) in Jerusalem grind up some pistachios into a fine powder. You can often purchase ground pistachios at your local grocery store; if it is too hard to find, simply pulverize them yourself in a food processor or coffee grinder. If you have it handy, a dash of toasted almond oil adds a wonderful extra flavor to the crust.
Strawberry, Chocolate and Pistachio Pie
1 1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/4 C. Pistachio Powder, finely ground
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1/4 C. plus 1 TBS. Powdered Sugar
1/2 C. Coconut Oil, or Canola Oil, or Butter
1 Large Egg Yolk
3/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Nonstick Vegetable Oil Spray
6 Oz. Bittersweet Chocolate (do not exceed 70% cacao), chopped
3/4 C. Coconut Cream or Heavy Cream
⅓ C. White Sugar
1 small basket Strawberries, Raspberries, Pomegranate, or fruit of your choosing
Whisk flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a small bowl. Pulse powdered sugar and butter in a food processor until smooth. Add yolk and vanilla; pulse to mix well. Add dry ingredients and pulse just to blend. Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
Spray a standard (8-9”) pie or tart pan with nonstick spray. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 1/8′ thickness. Peel off top sheet of paper. Transfer dough into pie pan, pressing gently onto bottom and up sides of the pan. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325°. Bake pie until slightly puffed and firm to touch, 12–15 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate; stir until melted and smooth. Let ganache cool to room temperature. Cover and chill until set, about 20 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 12 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
To assemble pie: Pour chocolate ganache into baked pie shell. Let chill until the chocolate has hardened slightly. Garnish with strawberries (or fruit of your choosing) in a circular pattern (see pictures) and sprinkle pistachio powder in the middle. Serve immediately. (If you choose not to serve the pie right away, wait to garnish it–it will look much better if the garnish is fresh.)
For more recipes, blog posts, or to find out more about our company, check out www.avicamgitlin.com.