• Dessert at Marble restaurant in Johannesburg is a surprise as Italian meringue mixed with ash is piped onto  a plate with pistachio crème, globes of Turkish delight and finished with burnt strawberries and kataifi pastry strands. This crème pistache with ash meringue, burnt strawberries, Turkish delight and kataifi pastry strands recipe is utterly delicious and we cannot wait to go back to try some more desserts at Marble. 

    Crème pistache with ash meringue, burnt strawberries, Turkish delight and kataifi pastry strands

    Serves: 5
    Cooking Time: 1 hr


    • Pistachio paste

    • 250g pistachio nuts
    • 125g icing sugar
    • 35ml water
    • 60g ground almonds
    • 30ml sunflower oil
    • Pistachio cream

    • 30g sugar
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) cornflour
    • 100ml milk
    • 1 vanilla pods
    • 80g pistachio paste (from above)
    • 80g butter, cubed
    • 30g unsalted pistachios
    • Ash meringue

    • 100g castor sugar
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) water
    • 10g glucose, liquid
    • 50g egg whites
    • ash, to taste
    • Turkish delight

    • 85ml water
    • 265g sugar
    • 62,5ml glucose
    • 60g cornflour
    • 75ml water + 50ml water + 100ml water
    • 5ml (1 tsp) rose water
    • 1 drop red food colouring
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) powdered gelatine
    • To serve

    • 15 strawberries, halved
    • icing sugar, to dust
    • crispy ready-made kataifi (Greek nut and honey pastry, available at Greek delis)



    For the pistachio paste, preheat the oven to 150°C . Roast the pistachios on a roasting tin, 15 minutes. Cook the water and icing sugar to 121°C (using a sugar thermometer). Add the pistachios and stir. It should crystalise. Transfer the pistachios to a Thermomix or strong blender, along with the ground almonds. Blitz to form a powder. Add the sunflower oil and blitz, about 5 – 10 minutes to form a paste.


    For the pisctachio cream, whisk the sugar and yolks together. Add the cornflour and whisk again for a smooth cream. Boil the milk with the vanilla and pistachio paste. Temper this into the yolks and return to the heat and cook until it covers the back of a spoon. Do not stop whisking at this point. Remove from heat and add the cubed butter and the pistachios. Mix through and cover the top of the custard with cling film. Leave to cool before refrigerating.


    For the ash meringues, cook the sugar, water and glucose to 118°C, using a sugar thermometer. Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer. The egg whites should be at soft-peak stage before pouring the hot syrup in. Once the syrup is in the mixer, leave it on high speed until the bowl has cooled down. Fold in the ash and taste.


    For the Turkish delight, prepare a small roasting tin and mix the 75ml water, sugar and glucose in a saucepan. Cook to 115°C, using a sugar thermometer. Mix the cornflour with 50ml water to make a paste. Mix the sugar syrup into the cornflour mixture and return to the heat, 2 minutes. Add the rose water and red food colouring. Remove from heat. Sponge the gelatine with 100ml water, then melt in the microwave on high. Don't allow to boil. Mix the gelatine into the sugar syrup and set in the prepared roasting tin.


    To serve, preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the strawberries on a baking tray, sprinkle with some icing sugar and place in the oven, until it has a nice charred colour.


    To assemble, dollop the pistachio cream and ash meringue around the plate. Arrange the burnt strawberries and Turkish delight on the plate and garnish with crispy kataifi. Dust with icing sugar.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com