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Gesine Prado's Holiday Desserts

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Gesine Prado shows us her holiday desserts.

Gesine Prado's Holiday Desserts

Recipes

December 27, 2017

Pistachio Stars
Ingredients:

8 ounces (227 grams) unsalted raw shelled pistachios
1/4-cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling
1/4 teaspoon (large pinch) orange zest
2 large egg whites
Generous pinch salt
1-cup (227 grams) superfine (baker’s) granulated sugar
Nonstick cooking spray, for your hands

Directions:
Special equipment: a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter

In a food processor, grind together the pistachios with the confectioner’s sugar and zest until the pistachios are very finely ground. Set aside.

Combine the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a very clean and dry mixing bowl. Whisk with an electric mixer until the egg whites become foamy. Slowly add the superfine granulated sugar and beat on high until you get stiff, white peaks (this can take a few minutes). Set aside about one-quarter of the meringue mixture (just eyeball it). Fold the remaining meringue into the ground nut mixture until you’ve created a thick paste.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Sift a generous layer of confectioners’ sugar onto a piece of parchment. Flatten the paste onto the parchment with your hands (spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray to keep the paste from sticking to your hands). Sift a generous layer of confectioners’ sugar on top of the paste and top with another piece of parchment. Roll to about 1/4 inch thick.

Using a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter (dipped in confectioners’ sugar to keep the cutter from sticking), stamp out the stars and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet an inch or so apart (the cookies don’t spread, so there’s not much worry). Using a small offset spatula, smear the tops of each star with a light layer of the reserved meringue. Continue with the rest of the cookies and a second parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake until the meringue just begins to brown, about 15 minutes. The cookies should be light and chewy, not hard and crunchy.

***To make the recipe vegan use below instructions:

Instead of egg whites, you take one 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas and you drain the chickpeas and reduce the chickpea water until it’s thickened close to the consistency of egg whites and measures to 1/3 cup. Whisk the chickpea juice with the salt until just foamy and then add the sugar until light and fluffy. Once the meringue is shiny and stiff, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and whisk to combine as you would the traditional recipe. The rest is exactly the same.

*Confectioner’s sugar is added to the nuts and fine/baker’s sugar added to the chickpea mixture.

Apple Pie with Lattice Crust
Recipe Courtesy of Gesine Prado (recipe adapted from “Pie It Forward”)

For the Crust:
2 Recipes All-Butter Easy Pie Dough (recipe follows)

For the Filling:
13 large baking apples (I like Northern Spy or Cortland varieties, but Baldwin Tart, Jonagold, Rome Beauty, and Suncrisp all work well)
zest and juice 1 lemon
3 tablespoons (22g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (220g) brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

For the Assembly:
2 tablespoons Crust Dust (50/50 mixture of flour and sugar)
Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 2 tablespoons water)
Sanding sugar or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Procedure for crust:
Divide and reserve 1/3 of the dough (wrap and chill). Roll out the 2/3 larger portion of the dough to a large rectangle about 14”x19”. Roll loosely around rolling pin and transfer to a half sheet pan. Gently press into the edges and corners. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork. Refrigerate. Roll the second piece of dough into a rough rectangle and cut strips for lattice (instruction for frozen lattice crust here)

Procedure for filling:
Peel, core and cut the apples into slices 1/4” (6mm) thick. Toss the slices in a bowl with the lemon juice and zest to keep them from browning. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Sprinkle this over the apples and toss until the fruit is evenly coated.

Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the apple mixture and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cream and vanilla bean paste and continue to cook the apples, stirring often until the juices thicken and the apples are just tender. Make sure not to overcook the apples or they will become mushy. Transfer the cooked apples to a large bowl and set them aside to cool completely.

Assembly:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the Crust Dust in an even layer on the bottom of the piecrust. Spoon the filling into the curst and top it with the lattice crust
Brush the egg wash over the top crust and sprinkle with sanding or turbinado sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top and bottom crusts are golden brown.

All-Butter Easy Pie Dough (3x this for “slab pie”) (1x this for “traditional round pie”)
Recipe Courtesy of Gesine Prado
Ingredients:

2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, cold
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, and chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes
1/2 cup (120ml) ice water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, salt, sugar and butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and the lemon juice. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture, pulsing, until the dough just comes together. Squeeze a small piece of dough between your thumb and index finger to make sure it holds its shape.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Gently turn over each piece of dough a few times so that any dry bits are incorporated. Form each piece into a loose disk, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

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