This recipe takes three steps that use a lot of technique but are really quite simple. The result is a beautiful and light dessert with a wonderful contrast of textures and flavors.
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/4 ounces shelled pistachios
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg whites
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1 pint raspberry sorbet, softened
2 cups fresh raspberry coulis, for serving
How to Make It
In a very clean, dry medium saucepan, cook the sugar, stirring constantly, over medium heat, until it is golden brown. Add the pistachios and stir well. Turn the mixture out onto a greased or parchment-lined sheet pan. When cool, crush the nougatine into very small pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Heat 1 cup of the sugar and the water in heavy saucepan over medium heat until the syrup is thick, bubbly and just starting to turn golden around the edges. While the sugar is heating, in a stand mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whisk the egg whites and 2 tablespoons sugar to stiff peaks. Lower the mixer to medium speed and add the hot sugar to the egg whites in a thin stream. Beat until the mixture is shiny and cool to the touch. In another bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the cooled egg white mixture. Fold in the crushed nougatine.
Line a terrine, bowl or 6-ounce ramekins with plastic wrap. Spread the bottom and sides of the mold with the parfait, about 1-inch-thick. Scoop the sorbet and place a ball in the center of the parfait. For bowl molds, use a smaller bowl to mold the sorbet, then unmold it and position it in center of the larger bowl. Cover with more parfait and freeze until firm.
To serve, tug gently on the edges of the plastic wrap to unmold the parfait. Terrines should be sliced and bowl molds can be cut into wedges. Serve unmolded ramekins whole. Spoon raspberry coulis on the plate and place the parfait on top.
Almonds and pistachios work best for nougatine, but hazelnuts and macadamia nuts can also be used.
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