Pistachio and Saigon Cinnamon Custard

This recipe is based on a dessert from Cookshop, located in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. It’s a wonderful restaurant that has received accolades for their American cuisine with a nod to Mediterranean flavors and preparation.

While dining with the Spice Islands crew, we ordered Cookshop’s Saigon Cinnamon-Pistachio pudding and fell in love with it. When I got home, it was all that I could think about, so I decided to try my hand at something similar. I love that I was able to incorporate some high quality spices and pure Spice Islands Vanilla Extract! Although sometimes I think I could just sit with a giant bowl of the Cardamom Whipped Cream and a spoon, a giant, humongous spoon.

Makes 4

1 ½ cups shelled and toasted pistachios
½ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups cream
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon Spice Islands Pure Vanilla Extract

Cardamom Whipped Cream:
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cardamom

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Place pistachios and sugar, reserving 2 Tablespoons of sugar, in a food processor and pulse 10 times or until the pistachios have ground to a medium grind.
3. Stir the pistachio mixture, salt and cream in a medium sauce pan and allow to come to a simmer.
4. Once the mixture is brought to a simmer, cover and remove from heat.
5. Allow the mixture to steep for an hour.
6. Strain the pistachio mixture with fine mesh sieve topped with a cheese cloth to remove any pistachio bits.
7. Bring the pistachio cream back up to a scald, stir in the cinnamon and remove from heat.
8. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar.
9. Temper the yolks by adding a ½ cup of the cream to the yolk mixture and whisking to prevent scrambling.
10. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining pistachio cream and continue to whisk to prevent scrambling. (If adding food coloring, do so at this time).
11. Pour the liquid into 4 (6 ounce) ramekins and place each ramekin into a large baking dish.
12. Place the baking dish into the oven and pour hot water into the baking dish, about half way up the sides of the ramekin, creating a water bath.
13. Bake the custards for 40 to 50 minutes or until the custard has barely set and still slightly shakes in the center.
14. Remove the custards from the oven and allow to set up, for about an hour.
15. Once the custards have cooled, place in the refrigerator to allow to chill until ready to use.
16. While the custards chill, place the cream, sugar, and cardamom into a medium bowl and whisk together, with a hand mixer on medium speed, until stiff peaks are formed.
17. When ready to serve, dust the top of each custard with a small amount of  cinnamon and top with a dollop of cardamom whipped cream.

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