The Stacey tart has five layers in a spelt flour pastry case. The layers are pistachio caramel, crunchy sable pop-rock, apple-and-lime compote, water gel, and pineapple-and-coconut ganache.
Print out the recipe and listen to the audio as he talks you step-by-step through the process of making the water gel layer.
190g caster sugar
280g unsalted butter
500g spelt flour
200g ground pistachios
Pinch of sea salt
12 green apples, peeled, cored, cut into quarters
3 limes (juiced)
120g caster sugar
10g citric acid solution
Zest of 1 lime
150g caster sugar
1 litre water
6g gellan gum
Crunchy sable pop rock
30g pop rocks
2 lime zest
50g chopped pistachio
300g white chocolate buds
2g sea salt
150g cooked spelt pastry, (as above)
380g caster sugar
10g pistachio paste
130g unsalted butter, melted
500g white chocolate
165g pineapple puree
115ml coconut cream
Salted pistachio choc rocks
290g dark choc
150 chopped pistachio
2g sea salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Put the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process over low speed. Add 1 tablespoon of pistachio paste, 1 vanilla pod and 1 egg, and process until the dough comes together. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap. Pat it a few times to reduce any air pockets. Place the pastry in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm-thick disc. The pastry will form the base of the tart but it’s also used in the crunchy layer.
Line a 23cm pastry ring with the pastry, and trim any excess. Cover the pastry base with a layer of baking paper, allowing it to run about 2.5cm over the sides. Fill with dried beans to weigh it down.
Crunchy sable pop-rocks
Cut the remaining pastry into pieces of different sizes, line a flat baking tray with baking paper and put it in the oven with the spelt pastry tin. Set aside to cool.
Heat ½ cup of water in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the apple and steam until soft. Drain and puree in a blender until smooth. Add the lime juice and stir with a fork. Return to heat and bring the puree up to 60°C, whisking constantly. Add the pectin, increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Place the caster sugar, water and gellan gum in a saucepan. Using a stick blender, mix to remove any white lumps. Stop blending once the mixture becomes thicker.
Put the saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves. After a couple of minutes, the mixture will thin out. Once this happens, bring to the boil for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Refrigerate the gel for 2 hours. When the mixture is set like a soft jelly, it’s ready to use.
Crunchy sable pop rocks
Place the white chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Add the lime, pistachio and pop rocks and a pinch of salt. Break up the cooked pastry pieces, reserved a few pieces for garnish, into a rough crumble and fold into the chocolate mixture. Add the pop rocks. Line a baking tray with paper and top with the mixture. Place in the fridge to set.
Place the sugar and glucose in a saucepan over high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add the butter and the pistachio paste.
Microwave the cream for 90 seconds. When the sugar turns amber, remove from heat and gradually add the cream. Whisk to remove any lumps.
Return to the stove on low heat. Simmer until it reaches 120°C, without stirring, for about 10 minutes. The trick here is to get a nice chewy consistency without burning the caramel. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
Heat the pineapple and coconut on medium or microwave for 3 minutes. Pour over the chocolate and whisk together. When the chocolate has completely melted, stir in the butter. Set aside.
Take the pastry out of the tart ring and place on a sheet of baking paper. Fill a piping bag with the pistachio caramel. Starting in the middle of the tart, pipe a continuous spiral until the whole base is covered. Break up the crunchy layer into roughly bite-sized pieces, and scatter on top of the caramel.
Put the apple-and-lime compote in a piping bag, and use the same spiral technique to cover the crunchy layer.
Crush the reserved crunchy layer pastry. Sprinkle over the compote. The idea is to make it look a bit like sand. Get the water gel out of the fridge, put in a piping bag and cover the tart with that same spiral technique.
The pineapple-and-coconut ganache forms the sandbars. To make them, grab a dessertspoon, and gently form three islands on the top of the tart – a small one in the middle and two larger ones on the sides. Place the tart in the fridge and get started on the rocks and trees. Cut a small footprint out of any textured surface you’ve got. We used an old rubber shoe. Dip the footprint in cocoa powder, and carefully make 3 footprints on the tart.
Melt dark chocolate, add pistachios and salt. Using a teaspoon, make small rock shapes on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with more chopped pistachios and place in the fridge until set.
Temper about 100 grams of dark chocolate and lay out some baking paper on the kitchen bench. With a dessert spoon, carefully shape a tree trunk with branches. Let the chocolate trees set.
Put two or three rocks in a loose clump on the side of the tart. Stick the chocolate tree trunks vertically behind the rocks, A few more rocks can help hold them in place. Crumble up the cooked pistachio pastry and gently scatter between the water and sandbar over the rocks and treetops. If you have any lemon thyme put a few flower heads in the branches of the trees. Carefully lift the finished tart onto a plate. And put it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.