Pink pralines or praliné roses candies or pink tart are unique to Lyon; a city in east-central France. Yet, the story behind the sweet rosy pink color remains a bit of a mystery. Great for Easter time, or for a touch of whimsy on floating island and plated desserts. Mixed in the brioche dough and it will be called La Brioche St Genix; a specialty from Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers in Savoy. These delectable candies can be found online but they come with a price tag, so it worth the work to make them at home. It last for months if stored in an airtight container. The trick to making true praline is to add the sugar in three stages. Professionals, cook candied nuts in copper bowls, turning it over the flame ensuring a perfect sugar coating. A good grade saute or frying pan will do the trick.
In a saute or frying pan, add one portion of the water (40g) and sugar (150g). Add a few drops of red coloring. Bring to a boil. When large bubbles begins forming, throw in the almonds stirring constantly and shaking the pan. Add flavoring. The syrup will begin to crystallize; keep stirring so that the nuts are well coated in sugar. Some of the sugar wont adhere to the nuts looking like powdered pink sugar. Allow it to melt slightly so that it coats the nuts again. Transfer the contents of the pan onto a baking tray lined with silicone mat or parchment paper. Set the nuts aside and save remaining pink sugar. Clean up all utensils and pans. Place the remaining pink sugar in a saucepan and add the second-third of the sugar and water. Add a couple of drops of red food coloring if necessary. Stir it, cover with a lid and bring to a boil – after 2 minutes boiling, remove the lid and conitnue to cook until temperature reaches 255ºF (124ºC). When the syrup is almost at the desired temperature, switch on the burner below the cleaned pan and add nuts. Pour the syrup over the nuts, stirring as you pour. Coat the almonds well on high heat. Yet, the syrup will once again beguin to cristalized. Lower the heat if necessary. Allow the sugar that does not coat the almonds to melt; continue stirring. Do not over cook. Transfer the contents of the pan onto a baking tray lined with silicone mat or parchment paper. Set the nuts aside and save remaining pink sugar. Repeat the last step one more time with the remaining water and sugar.
Preheat oven to 160°F (70°C) and dry out the pink praline for about 50 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy!.
Makes 1x 10 inch (25cm) diameter tart pan or 2 medium sizes.
Combine flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and mix with finguer tips until it reaches texture of dry sand. Add yolks and water and mix until it forms a ball. Do not over work. Wrap up and chill completely. The pastry can be made a day ahead.
In a floured work surface, roll out the pastry into a large 0.12 inch (3mm) thick disk; dusting flour as you go. Line pastry over the greased mold or pastry ring. Gently press down from the center first, then use the side of the index finguer to press gently the dough down around the edges to the mold, making sure there is not air spaces left in between. Trim off excess dough and gently lift up edges with your thumb. Lightly prick pastry with a fork and refrigerate for an hour or best overnight.
Preaheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the chilled tart with a few layers of microwave safe plastic film or use a soft sheet of aluminium foil or wax papper. Fill up pie with pie weights, rice, beans or dry pits and bake for 20 minutes. Remove pie weights and bake for an additional 15 min. Do not over bake. Let cool completely; can keep a few days in dry storage.
In a large saucepan, combine the crushed pink nuts and heavy cream. Bring to boil and stir every so often to avoid cream boiling over; especially during the first 10 min. Reduce heat and cook to 230/233ºF (110/112ºC), stirring every so often. The mixture will gradually thicken and change color; reducing by one-third in about 30 minutes; coming down to 1.7lb. (750g).
Pour the hot filling in the baked tart shell. Let cool to room temperature and chill tart until it has completely set. It can keep refrigerated for up to a week. The pink praline tart should be eaten at room temperature. Garnish tart with some crushed praline and tiny fresh verbena leaves. Enjoy!