Super simple and delicious pistachio cream pies made with phyllo shells, pistachio pastry cream and toasted brown sugar meringue topping. Recipe and photo by Bernice Baran of Baran Bakery blog.
- 6 ounces lightly salted and roasted unshelled pistachios
- 3/4 cup, water divided
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar lightly packed, divided
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 package (15 count) Athens® Phyllo Shells
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the pistachios in a food processor and grind them for a few minutes until they are as ground as they are going to get. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of the water at a time and pulse until the pistachios form a thick paste. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cornstarch to make the pistachio pastry cream. Whisk them together until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, bring the milk and butter to a simmer. Then, slowly pour it over the pistachio pastry cream mixture while whisking continuously.
Return the whole mixture to the pot. Over low-medium heat, whisk continuously for a few minutes until you see the first bubble pop. After the first bubble, whisk for one more minute. Remove the cream from the heat and pour through a sieve into a bowl. Add the vanilla and pistachio paste and use a whisk to fully combine it. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pistachio pastry cream into each shell.
In a small saucepan over low heat, bring ½ cup water to a simmer. While simmering, place a bowl with the egg whites and 1/2 cup brown sugar on top of the saucepan, creating a double boiler. Whisk the egg whites and sugar over low heat for 5 minutes, until the sugar granules are dissolved. You can feel it between your fingers if the sugar is fully dissolved or you can use a candy thermometer and bring the mixture to about 150°F.
When the sugar granules are fully dissolved in the egg whites, remove the bowl from the heat and place it on a stand mixer. Add the vanilla and beat the mixture on high speed, until stiff peaks form and the mixture is no longer warm.
Use a piping bag fit with your favorite tip to pipe meringue on top of the cream pies.
Use a culinary torch or lighter to toast the meringue and top with chopped pistachios. You can also toast the meringue by placing them in a preheated oven to broil for 2-3 minutes, on the top rack.