The City Magazine Since 1975

Goat Cheese Budino with Spiced Pistachios & Apricot Jam

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For the spiced pistachios:
1 cup unsalted roasted pistachios
2 tsp. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. black pepper

For the budino:
 1/2 packed cup goat cheese, preferably a soft variety without a rind or one that comes in a 4-oz. log
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
4 tsp. good quality all-fruit apricot jam at room temperature



For the spiced pistachios:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Toss the pistachios with the remaining ingredients. Spread them out on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven and pour onto a sheet of parchment paper, making sure the nuts are not clumped together, and let them cool to room temperature. Coarsely chop the nuts. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

For the budino:

Preheat an oven to 275°F.

Put the goat cheese in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the cream, then stir with the whisk until the mixture becomes smooth, similar in texture to sour cream. Stir in the milk.
Put the eggs, yolk, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl and whisk together. Stir the seasoned eggs into the goat cheese mixture. Use the whisk to help push the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Divide the mixture among four (four-ounce) ramekins and place them in a nine- by 13-inch baking pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and carefully pour warm water along the side of the pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. It is very important to make sure no water gets in the budino mixture, as this will affect the baking process.

Bake the budinos for 30 minutes, checking the doneness by gently nudging one of the ramekins. If the center still seems liquid, rotate the pan 90 degrees and continue baking until the entire budino has a uniform jiggle. This could take anywhere from five to 15 additional minutes. Remove the ramekins from the baking dish and set aside until cool enough to handle. Top each with a teaspoon of apricot jam and the coarsely chopped spiced pistachios and serve immediately. You can refrigerate the budinos for later use but, before serving, let them come to room temperature for about 30 minutes and then reheat for seven to 10 minutes at 350°F and top with apricot jam and spiced pistachios.