Strawberry pistachio macaron mess
Inspiration is a funny thing. I sometimes think that I have all of my best ideas on a sunny day. The sunshine just makes me want to paint, write, create in a way that makes me wonder whether I’ve ever had a good idea when there are clouds in the sky. Perhaps it’s just the positive frame of mind that the blue sky brings. The other key thing for me is a bit of mental space, allowing your brain to go meandering into places that it never can when it is stuffed with to-do lists or mindless tv. No wonder we have our best ideas in the shower or on a jog around the park. So this dessert is the product of a sunny stroll, where the rhythm of my legs could drive the cogs of my brain to create an indulgent variation on this summer classic. Inspiration in a bowl, I guess.
I’m a total sucker for pistachio flavoured things. It’s virtually guaranteed that if there is a pistachio variant of something, I’ll be having it. So when I had the idea of swapping the meringues in a traditional mess for macarons, it had to be pistachio. Their nutty flavour is perfect with the sweet, fruity strawberries. You could make your own macarons if you have the time or inclination, but I just bought mine from a local patisserie. I think that part of the point of a mess is the speed and ease of it.
Start by hulling about 300g strawberries, cutting any large fruit in half. Put them into a bowl and sprinkle over a tablespoon of caster sugar and leave to macerate.
Keep 1 macaron to one side for later decoration and then halve another 5 and gently spoon their filling into a small bowl. Stir a couple of tablespoons of double cream into the macaron filling to loosen the mixture a little.
Whip another 200ml double cream into soft peaks. Stir through the diluted macaron filling – this should be enough to add a delicate, sweet flavour to the cream. Stir through most of the strawberries, keeping a few to one side for the top, then crumble in the macaron shells. Transfer to a serving bowl of your choice and decorate with the final macaron and the remaining strawberries. Sprinkle over a few slivers of pistachio if you have some.
I won’t lie to you, the two of us managed to eat all of this in one sitting. I had intended for there to be leftovers, so you might be able to eke it out to serve 4 people, depending on how hungry/greedy you are, but it’s clearly very easy to eat more of this than you might think.
6 pistachio macarons
225m double cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
Pistachio nuts to decorate (optional)
PS. You can make this in advance but the longer the macarons sit in the cream, the softer they get, so if you like a bit of crunch I would eat it straight away.