Pistachio and almond tart with orange and cardamom

This is a recipe from Sam and Sam Clark’s Casa Moro. It’s a great book, which I’ve had for a while but don’t think I’ve even opened this year. Have clearly forgotten all about it until a friend asked for a particular recipe. So I had a look and spotted this Pistachio and almond tart with orange and cardamom. I love cardamom, I love grinding it by hand and the aroma filling the kitchen. This tart has seeds from 27 cardamom pods in it, so obviously, was rather excited about making it.

The real reason I made it though was that I had quite a lot of shelled pistachios getting near expiry date. Am sure I got them with some cake in mind then forgot all about it… What’s really baffling is that two packs of shelled pistachios managed to remain untouched in this household – am quite partial to pistachios.

I started the tart last night and finished this morning, have to say it was not the nicest baking experience. The end result, though, is something else, really wonderful, here’s a slice:

  The pastry had to be made the day before, frozen, then blind baked from frozen. It uses a whole 250g pack of butter, making it very short and crumbly. Nightmare to roll out, even after I chilled it. I thought I was being clever by rolling it between two sheets of greaseproof paper, then I peeled the top paper off and of course, bits of pastry stuck to it, all got worse when I was lining the tart case. Rim came off fine and then the middle totally stuck. Ended up scraping it off the paper and patting it all into place, freezing and thinking it’ll all be alright in the end. It was. I then blanched the pistachios and peeled the skins (all 300g) so that was a nice little task that took a while.

This morning, bright and early, even before I had my first coffee, the tart case went into the oven. Was meant to blind bake first, fine, but then the paper with baking beans stuck to pastry again so had to blind bake for a bit longer than given in the recipe, hence the pastry is a tad too brown but still tastes lovely. While this was going on, I made the filling with pistachios, almonds, sugar and cardamom. You need to pulse quite a big quantity of this dry mix (750g) until finely ground, then slowly add orange juice, zest and egg yolks to make a sticky paste. Only I think you need an industrial strength processor for such a quantity. I did end up with a sticky paste albeit paste that still had little chunks of nuts. Little Braun was overheating, and I even broke my silicone spatula trying to get the mix moving to grind it finer. Gutted. Tips for next time – grind pistachios and almonds separately first, then start combining with sugar and rest of ingredients. Don’t bother rolling the pastry, just pat into place then freeze.

So, after all those trials and tribulations, couldn’t wait to taste the end result and had to have a tiny slice for breakfast. Beloved thought I’d gone mad but then so the wisdom of this idea – the tart is fabulous and because it’s got so much cardamom, it does go rather well with coffee (2nd of the day). The orange comes through very well too. Here’s a photo of the whole tart:

Shame the photos are a bit dark, taken on iPhone and it’s a pretty miserable, dark day. Am planning on making another recipe from Casa Moro for dinner, lamb flatbreads so will hopefully post that later.

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