i think it is safe to say that reno has nothing on las vegas as far as fine dining goes…i mean have you ever been to vegas. holy damn. that place is crazy and crazy hot too. however, in reno there are a few nice places to go and sometimes those places are in crowded (gamblin’ patrons and cocktail waitresses in crazy-thigh-high get-ups anyone?), noisy, neon-lit casinos. every so often when my mom and her boyfriend, mel, come to town we hit up one of the nicer steakhouses. i always love this…it’s fun and it’s a treat.
the last time we went was over the weekend between christmas and new years. i remember enjoying my meal (ribeye…as far as i am concerned ribeye always wins as far as taste goes…for me anyway) and the wine that just kept on flowing, but when the dessert cart came around i was completely won over. there was a creme brulee trio that was calling to me and luckily my mom and little brother were down for splitting it. there was chocolate, cranberry, and pistachio. i am sure you have gathered by now that the pistachio was the winner…that is if the creme brulee’s were in competition. i loved it so much that it has been on my mind since and has only taken a bit over a month to get to recreating it. i know, that seems like a long time…but i get distracted by other delicious offerings and forget about the task at hand. plus…i had a million egg yolks in the refrigerator from my macaron adventures.
anyway…pistachio creme brulee…yum. if you like pistachio’s, or pistachio ice cream, or pistachio pudding (yes, yes and yes) then try this. it is de-lightful. i also baked up some pistachio-cardamom korova cookies for the side. they were pretty darn good too…not to pat myself on the back or anything…i just love any excuse to make that cookie.
pistachio creme brulee
adapted from baking:from my home to yours
dorie’s recipe does not call for a water bath…which freaked me out. so, i upped the temp according to other recipes and used the water bath since i felt more comfortable with that.
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
3-4 ounces chopped pistachios
preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking dish with a tea-cloth (to prevent slippage).
heat cream and milk with vanilla bean (seeds and pod) and pistachios until just under a boil. cover and allow to steep 15 minutes. bring back to temp (just under a boil) if needed.
whisk egg yolks and sugar together until well blended, but not airy. still whisking, whisk in about 1/4 of the liquid to temper the yolks and add the remaining liquid. strain the mixture into a measuring cup (for easy pouring) and divide among ramekins or other dishes (about 6 ramekins).
place dishes in the cloth lined baking dish and place in oven. pour hot water half-way up the sides of the ramekins. bake for 25-30 minutes or until just set in center. allow to cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. when thouroughly chilled sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar and caramelize either with a torch (yay!) or under the broiler.
as for the cookies…go here and sub the hazelnuts for pistachios and add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.