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Friday 19 July 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: Peach & Pistachio Tartlets

Ordinarily at DSHQ, we see sunny weather as an excuse to get dressed in pleasant, floral numbers, drink tea and eat cake on the veranda (read: small precarious wooden ledge out the back of my house). But oh, the tragic irony! It is too hot for tea, and too hot to bake cake!

I refuse to live on iced melon alone for the next month, (except in this cocktail). I want DESSERT.

Shortcrust pastry would be too heavy in this wonderful Amazonian climate, but filo works perfectly: it's light and crisp and the perfect vehicle for a mountain of cool, pistachio mascarpone. Don't fuss with making it yourself: I cheated and bought a packet last time I trying to climb into the chiller cabinet.

Peach & Pistachio Tartlets (Makes 4-5)
You will need:
For the tart cases:
  • 1 packet of pre-made filo pastry
For the pistachio filling:
  • 100g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 25g butter
  • 250g mascarpone 
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
For the peaches:
  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 1 tbsp white wine (optional)
  • 1 heaped tbsp vanilla sugar (or you could use muscovado) 
Make it!
The tart cases:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease four 9cm round tartlet tins. 
  2. Half the sheets of filo, then layer them into the tartlet tins, overlapping the edges and trimming if necessary until you have built up four or five layers of pastry: enough to be sturdy. 
  3. Lightly prick the base a few times with the tip of a sharp knife. 
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the pastry has turned light golden and crisp.
  5. Cool on a wire rack. 
The grilled peaches:
  1. Cut the peaches into thin slices, leaving the skin on. 
  2. Place onto a baking tray and sprinkle with the white wine, or whatever you're drinking, if using, and the sugar. 
  3. Grill for around 3 minutes (depending on how powerful your grill is) until the edges are beginning to brown lightly. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't catch. 
  4. Place on a plate to cool. 
The pistachio filling:
  1. Blanch 100g of shelled pistachios in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain, plunge into cold water and drain again. 
  2. In a blender or with a hand-blender, pulse the nuts together with the butter and 1 tablespoon of mascarpone. (If you don't have a blender you could crush them in a zip-lock bag or with a pestle and mortar)
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone slightly to loosen it. 
  4. Fold in the pistachio mixture, then sift in the icing sugar until combined. (You may want to add more or less to taste). 
  5. Spoon the pistachio filling into the tart cases, smoothing over the top. 
  6. Layer the peaches in a circle, and decorate with a few chopped pistachio nuts and a dusting of icing sugar. 


  1. If I don't have tartlet tins, can I make smaller ones in a cupcake tray or a bigger tarltet in a square/round tray?

    1. You could! Just adjust the cooking time and use less liquid ingredients - otherwise you'll get a soggy pastry.


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