Pistachio Cups with Berries and Yogurt

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Sugar and Spice: Sweets and Treats from Around the World by Gaitrich Pagrach-Chandra. This was the Christmas present from a very good friend and I have already successfully tried a couple of things off this wonderful book. These, in particular, are presented in the book with a mango shrikhand as the filling. However, after trying them that way and deeming them too sweet, I slightly adapted the recipe and topped them with an apricot half instead, much to the delight of my workmates in the office.

This time, I decided to shake things a little bit. Using yogurt as a filling is a great idea, especially because it’s not as fat as double cream and if you use extra thick Greek yogurt then you can play with textures too. In this case, I swirled it with a homemade berry compote and piped it in the pistachio cups. On that note, I had never thought about changing the way I make pastry. This is a real revelation to me: the addition of nuts to the shells makes them extremely crispy and crunchy, not to mention they pack a punch in terms of flavour! Shame the pistachios’ emerald green colour does not come through after baking, but one cannot ask for too much I guess. Try the pastry with different nuts too and be creative with the filling. This recipe is extremely versatile!

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Ingredients (for the pastry cups)

  • 100g pistachios, very finely ground (but almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts etc. are also good choices)
  • 115g plain flour
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100g chilled butter, cubed
  • scant 2 tbsp beaten egg

Method 

  1. If using a food processor to grind the nuts, add the dry ingredients to the nuts and pulse again until well combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs, then transfer to a large bowl.
  2. If doing it by hand, mix the dry ingredients before rubbing in the butter with your fingertips until you get the same texture.
  3. Add enough beaten egg to moisten the dry ingredients and knead lightly in the bowl to form a dough. Use the egg sparingly, as there is not much flour to absorb it.
  4. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap it in clingfilm and chill until it firms up enough to roll.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to the thickness of just under 3mm, then cut out 12 circles with a plain 10cm cutter, re-rolling the trimmings as necessary.
  7. Line the muffin tin neatly with the pastry, pressing it against the sides and ensuring that it comes all the way to the top of each cavity. Chill again for 30 minutes or put in the freezer for about 7 minutes.
  8. Place a paper case on top of each pastry shell and fill with baking beans, dried beans or rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper cases and weights and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through. Twist the pastry shells free after a few minutes and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  9. Store in an airtight container at cool room temperature for a few days, or freeze for up to a month.

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Ingredients (for the filling)

  • 100g white chocolate, melted
  • 300g blueberries
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 2 tbsp Chambord
  • 1/2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 75g sugar
  • 300g thick Greek yogurt
  • 30g pistachios, finely chopped

Method

  1. First prepare the berry compote. Put the blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and cook with the lid on for about 20 minutes over low heat. You want the blueberries to burst completely and the juice at the bottom of the saucepan to become dark red.
  2. Remove the lid and add the Chambord and the redcurrant jelly, then mix well to combine and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  3. Pass the compote through a fine sieve and use a spoon or a rubber spatula to extract as much juice as possible from the blueberries. Return the liquid to the saucepan.
  4. Mix the cornflour with 1/2 tbsp water, then add to the berry juice. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Chill until needed.
  5. Retrieve the baked pistachio cups and, using a teaspoon, spread some white chocolate on the inside. Ensure to cover well the sides too, as the chocolate will prevent the yogurt from seeping into the pastry and making it soggy once assembled. Set aside until cooled and completely set.
  6. Once your compote is thoroughly chilled, pour it into a big bowl, then dollop the Greek yogurt on top. With a few swift movements, roughly mix the two together, although you do want to clearly see the two ingredients and a few streaks are more than welcome. Transfer the whole mixture to a piping bag with a star nozzle.
  7. Gently pipe some filling inside each pistachio cups. You can choose to go for a fancy design or keep it simple, that’s up to you. As you haven’t mixed the berry compote and the yogurt completely, you will obtain a nice swirled and speckled effect.
  8. Top with some chopped pistachios and refrigerate until needed.

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