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Oyster Shells with Saffron Cream- "Herat is the Pearl of Khorasan"

Home » Recipes » Oyster Shells with Saffron Cream- "Herat is the Pearl of Khorasan"

Oyster Shells with Saffron Cream- "Herat is the Pearl of Khorasan"

This dessert requires some time and effort. You will need 6 scallop shells, which you can buy at an arts and crafts store, and some aluminum foil. The saffron pastry cream with poppy seeds could also be used as a tart filling or for eclairs. It is subtle, yet rich at the same time.

For the Saffron Pastry Cream:
2 cups half and half, divided
Pinch of saffron
1/3 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 cardamom pods, crushed and seeds removed
1 T flour (2 tablespoons if you prefer not to use cornstarch)
1 T cornstarch
½ tsp poppy seeds

For the Raisins:
6 raisins
¼ cup sherry

For the Shells:
1 recipe of Spelt Honey Dough (recipe follows)

Heat up ½ cup of the half and half on a low flame with the pinch of saffron. Once it comes to a bare simmer, remove from the heat and set aside to infuse while you keep working.
Heat up the remaining half and half with the cardamom on a medium high flame, but don’t let it come to a boil.
Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow in color. Add the flour and cornstarch to the yolk/sugar mixture and whisk well to combine. Pour a drop of the hot half and half into the egg yolks to temper them, and then gradually pour everything back into the saucepan.
Bring the liquid to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming, and cook for 2-3 minutes until thick. Whisk in the infused saffron liquid and pour into a bowl set over another bowl filled with ice water. Stir in the poppy seeds.
Cover the mixture directly with a piece of plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until completely cold and set.

Heat up the sherry in a small saucepan and poach the raisins until they are plump. Remove from heat.

Pipe the pastry cream into the prepared shells and place a plump raisin near the base, as if it were a pearl in the oyster.

Spelt Honey Dough:
6 scallop shells
aluminum foil
butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup spelt flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup butter, cut up into small dice
2 T honey + 5-6 T water

Sift together the salt and flours in a bowl.
Add the butter and cut it into the flour using a pastry cutter or your fingers. You are done when the butter is fully integrated into the flour, and you have a crumbly flour without any chunks of butter.
Make a well with the flour mixture and pour the honey and water into the center. Bring the flour into the well and mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough. Wrap up in parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut some aluminum foil into squares large enough to wrap the scallop shells. Wrap the shells with the foil, smoothing it over the ridges nicely. Butter the shells generously.
Roll out the dough to be ¼” thick. Roll onto the pin and place a shell underneath the dough. Roll the dough over the shell, and cut around it. Gently mold the dough over the shells. Use the video for more detailed instructions. Repeat for the remaining 5 shells.
Optional: Brush each shell with an egg wash made of 1 egg with a drop of cream.
Bake the shells for 15 minutes at 375°F or until cooked all the way through.

October 26, 2008

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