By popular demand… here it is! The recipe for the Tahini Mousse Pie with Silan & Halva that I served at my cookbook dinner at The General Muir. It was such an amazing night. Naturally, there was a lot of food. Guests enjoyed a 6 course meal which featured some of my favorite recipes from the book. Hummus, Fattoush, Moroccan Snapper, Braised Pomegranate Short Ribs over Peppery Farrotto… This pie ended the meal. They also took home a copy of my cookbook. Everyone was very complimentary as I sat awkwardly signing books on their way out. So not my thing. I had a really good time prepping and cooking with the team there. I could not have asked for more! I’m totally going to skip over the whole part where I passed some kidney stones the day before this dinner. FYI: Coffee does not equal water…
A HUGE thank you to the owners Shelley, Chef Todd, Jennifer, and Ben for hosting me, allowing me to have free reign over the restaurant, menu, and their kitchen. They are the best kind of people and I am grateful to have been able to work with them. More thank yous to the chef and sous chefs at The General Muir: Rob, Patrick, John, and John. And special thanks to Darryl, all the line cooks, and serving staff for the hustle and patience that night.
“What do you mean tahini can be sweet?!” Oh, yes. Think of it like peanut butter. Smooth, nutty, delicious. Halva is made by mixing sugar with tahini, the raw sesame paste. There are stalls dedicated to halva in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market; one of my favorite places in the world. The stall I’m specifically thinking of translates to “The Halva Kingdom” where they made dozens of different flavors of halva. It’s so damn good. I’ve had halva at home many times on vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of silan, a sweet date syrup. So I did what I do best… Americanize a Israeli/Middle Eastern delicacy. My grandmother is rolling in her grave right now.
THANK YOU TO MY HUSBAND, TAS, FOR HIS FACE.
Tahini Mousse Pie with Silan & Halva
- Food Processor
- Electric Mixer or Hand Mixer
FOR THE CRUST
- 9 oz Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
- 7 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
- 1 tsp finely ground Turkish coffee , or regular finely ground espresso
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
FOR THE PIE
- 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream , cold and divided in recipe
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 2/3 cup tahini
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 10.5 oz package of plain halva , vanilla halva will work ok too
- black sesame seeds
- silan (date syrup)
- Maldon salt , or other flakey sea salt
FOR THE CRUST
- Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F (175˚C).
- In a food processor, pulse the chocolate wafers until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl
- Add the melted butter, ground coffee, and salt. Mix to combine until it looks like wet sand (maybe even a little more moist than wet sand).
- Press the mixture into a 9″ pie/tart pan with removable bottom. Pack it tightly!
- Place the shell in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Bake on a sheet pan for 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature and place it in the fridge until you’re ready to fill it.
FOR THE PIE FILLING
- Place 2 cups of heavy cream and the cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment.
- Whisk the cream on medium at first and then up to high until medium peaks form. Don’t over whip the cream!
- Transfer the whipped cream into a different large bowl.
- Change to a paddle attachment on the mixer, no need to clean the bowl! Place the sesame paste, powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt in the mixer bowl.
- On low, mix until it starts to come together.
- While the mixer is running, SLOWLY drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of heavy cream.If you do this too quickly, or if the mixer is on too high the mixture will separate! It will be pretty difficult to bring it back together so make sure you do this slowly!
- Fold in, by hand, 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the sesame mixture. Be a bit aggressive with this first addition to lighten the sesame mixture.
- Once almost combined, add an additional 1/3 of whipped cream to the mixture and continue folding, gently this time. Add the remaining 1/3 and fold until JUST COMBINED. Streaks of white are ok!
FOR FINISHING THE PIE
- Pull out the shell from the fridge and break up half of the halva with a fork and scatter evenly along the bottom.
- Top with the mousse mixture and spread it over the halva.
- Set the pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
- When ready to serve, pop the pie out of the pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds and flakey sea salt. Slice, garnish with more halva, drizzle some silan over top and enjoy!