As a child I hated pistachio. Its flavour was an acquired taste for me but once I fell in love with it there was no turning back. Having lived in the Middle East just increased my appreciation for it as its use is extensive, particularly in desserts and cakes.
So when I came across this dessert I was excited. It was also a chance for me to use the wonderful vanilla pods from Papantla in the Mexican State of Veracruz, the birthplace of Vanilla. The Mexican Vanilla was introduced in the 19th century to several islands in the pacific, Madagascar being at present the biggest producer. Although the production has been declining in Mexico, the vanilla of Papantla is still in my opinion the best in the world. I bought these wonderful looking pods last time we went to Papantla.
This is without a doubt the best Pistachio Mousse I ever tasted. The flavours are very well balanced and it is not too sweet. It was adapted from a recipe by the Mexican Chef Andrea Blanco.
Pistachio Mousse with Vanilla
- 135 g/4.7 oz light cream cheese
- 2 tbsp low fat condensed milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthwise
- 3/4 cup whipped cream
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup ground pistachios
- Mix the cream cheese with the condensed milk until well combined.
- In a saucepan boil the water, the sugar and the vanilla pod until you get a syrup.
- Beat the whipping cream to a foamy consistency.
- In a bowl whisk the egg whites. When they start growing add the syrup little by little and beat until the bowl is cold again.
- Add the cream cheese mixture to the bowl, the whipped cream and fold in the pistachios. Decorate with pieces of pistachio. It is a delicious elegant dessert, one I will surely repeat many times.
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