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Phyllo Cups with Pistachio Cream and Raspberries

May 31, 2011

I hope everyone had an awesome extended weekend!  We enjoyed regardless of how hot and jam-packed it was!  I got to visit my favorite farm stand that (finally!) opened for the season, and my Dad threw an awesome barbeque and despite my prior declarations of having a non-baking weekend, I succumbed and topped it off with these cool and delicious pastries.

I’d like to say this recipe is as easy as making toast but it really depends on which house you’re making toast at.  My (frustrated and hungry) husband penned it beautifully in a facebook post, and I quote:

“How to make toast: First clear space for toaster on tiny little counter top, then retrieve toaster, next turn toaster upside down over trash can to remove small magnets, pen caps, pieces of dog food etc. Take a knife and pry out one or two matchbox cars, and then place toaster on counter. Now place two pieces of bread in the toaster and drop the lever. Get the butter out of the fridge and be careful not to close the door on Gabriel the fridge inspector. When it is ready butter both slices of toast and then give one to Gabe who will be begging at your side, despite a prior extended breakfast session. Easy!”

Thankfully working with phyllo really isn’t that frustrating 🙂  and the result is a buttery and flakey shell that frankly I could eat without any accompaniment. But what kind of post would that be?!  So I tweaked the mascarpone mousse recipe from earlier in the month to add toasted pistachios and fresh raspberries (my favorite!).  The outcome is scrumptious-a lightly sweet and nutty cream off-set by the tanginess of the raspberries all stuffed inside one heavenly, flakey shell.

lay out phyllo dough-marvel at its thin-ness

brush each layer with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar

form into cups in a muffin tin

and bake until golden brown and beautiful

toast the pistachios

While the cups are cooling, mix up the pistachio cream.  Having deja vu? Yeah, I’m reusing pictures from another post 🙂

fold in pistachios…ok, I know what you’re thinking and you’re right.  Pistachio cream is NOT pretty, I’m not even sure it’s that appetizing to look at-just close your eyes and taste it.  mmm hmm, delicious-don’t eat the whole bowl.

fill each cup halfway with the cream and top with fresh raspberries. Now they are beautiful and tasty!

Phyllo Cups with Pistachio Cream and Raspberries
Yields 12 servings

Ingredients:

16 sheets of phyllo dough roughly 13.5″ X 8.5″-the basic stuff you find in the grocery store frozen food section
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped

12 ounces fresh raspberries, rinsed and dried

Directions:

1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).  Butter the insides and rims of a standard 12 cup muffin tin.

Stack the phyllo dough flat and cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel.  Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface.  Brush the sheet evenly and lightly with melted butter and sprinkle a little sugar evenly over it.  Cover with a second sheet of phyllo and repeat butter and sugar as with the first layer.  Repeat 2 more times for a total of 4 layers of phyllo and ending with butter and sugar.  Cut the stack of phyllo sheets into 6 squares (3 strips down; 4.5″ each, cut in half across, 4.25″).  Place 1 square stack in 1 muffin cup, easing it in so that it covers the bottom but only 1 side of the cup (see picture A below).  Ease in a second stack, overlapping the first but in the opposite direction so that it covers the bottom and the other side of the muffin cup (see picture B below).

Picture A:

Picture B:

Repeat with the 4 other stacks to make 3 complete phyllo cups.  Then go back to step 1 and repeat 3 more times for a total of 12 phyllo cups.  (it sounds tedious, it really goes very quickly)

Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before carefully removing the cups from the tin.

2. While those are cooking (and cooling).  Toast and cool the pistachios and chop them, set aside.  Place the mascarpone cheese in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Stir in the powdered sugar and then the vanilla.  In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.  Fold in the pistachios.

3. To serve: Place a phyllo cup on a plate, spoon in some pistachio cream to fill about half the cup (do not do this step ahead of time, the pastry will get soggy).  Place the raspberries on top and enjoy!

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