Sophisticated and nutty. These pistachio financiers are made even more interesting with black tea poached prunes.
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup water
- 3 bags black tea, such as earl grey
- 30 pitted prunes
- ¼ cup orange flavored liqueur
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, sliced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup shelled pistachios, ground into a course meal
- 3 large egg whites, lightly beaten until frothy
- ½ cup honey
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachios, lightly crushed
- pistachio ice cream (optional)
Poach the prunes: Combine one-fourth cup of the sugar with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan, add the tea bags and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring so the sugar dissolves. Add the prunes and continue to gently simmer for about 10 minutes until the prunes are tender. If your prunes are large or quite dry, they make take longer. If necessary, add a bit more water to keep them covered.
Once the prunes are tender, remove them from the heat, adding the orange liqueur. Remove the tea bags and gently squeeze them to extract additional flavor before discarding them. Using a slotted spoon remove the prunes and set aside on a plate. Reduce the poaching liquid by about ⅓, until slightly syrupy. Turn off the heat and return the prunes to the pan. Set the prunes aside in their liquid). May be made up to 3 days ahead.
Prepare the Financier: Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently and watching carefully. You will notice the butter will get foamy, and then the milk solids will begin to brown. Once that starts, remove skillet from the heat. The butter will go from brown to black quickly, so set the skillet on a cool, heat proof surface to slow cooking before the butter turns black. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma, and be caramel in color.
Whisk remaining sugar, flour and ground pistachios together in a medium-sized bowl.
To these dry ingredients begin to add the wet ingredients, alternating between the browned butter and the egg whites. Use a a lerge flat paddle spoon to insure that the wet ingredients are folded into the dry without over-mixing. Cover and chill the batter overnight.
Preheat a convection oven to 375 degrees F. Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 6 portion flexible financier pan (alternately you may use mini tart pans). Financier pans come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Mine were about 3 inches round and took 15–18 minutes to bake. The financiers are done when they are dry and bounce back when pressed in the center. Allow them to sit for a few minutes and carefully remove them from the pan, setting them, upside down on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
Heat the honey over medium-low heat until it becomes less viscous. Do not allow it to scorch.
While the financiers are still warm, brush them generously with some of the warm honey. Top them with the crushed pistachios, and another drizzle of honey. Let cool. The financiers may be made no more than one day ahead.
To serve: Lay the financiers in the center of individual serving plates. Spoon a 5 prunes on top of each one and drizzle with some of the poaching liquid. A scoop of pistachio ice cream may also be served on the side.