IN MY MIND, it is impossible to imagine a real cherry dessert without drops of Kirsch. Whether from the Black Forest of Germany, the valleys of Switzerland, or the orchards of Alsace, the clear liquor always creates a sweet whiff. A pistachio dacquoise biscuit supports a crown of poached bing cherries under a spiraling disc made of Kirsch chantilly and mascarpone. And on top? A cherry, of course!
Pick 8 cherries for garnish, leave the stems attached, and scoop the pits from their bottoms; set aside. Stem, halve, and pit the remaining cherries and place in a heatproof container. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, the sugar, and the vanilla seeds and pod and bring to a simmer. Pour over the top of the cherries, cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for 2 days.
For the Sicilian Pistachio Ice Cream
Place the pistachios in a dry medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring, to toast, for 5 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove the pan from the heat to cool slightly, then add the milk and heavy cream; bring to a simmer. Transfer the mixture to a blender with the trimoline and stabilizer. Puree until smooth and return to the saucepan. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the milk powder, sugar, and egg yolks until smooth.
While whisking, gradually pour half of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Gradually whisk the mixture back into the saucepan. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, while whisking, until it reaches 185°F. Remove from the heat and pass through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl set over ice. Stir until well chilled and spin in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
For the Pistachio Dacquoise
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed 9½ × 13-inch baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper and nonstick cooking spray.
In an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the egg whites with one-third of the powdered sugar until frothy. Continue whipping at medium speed while gradually streaming in the remaining powdered sugar until the whites reach soft peaks.
With a rubber spatula, fold the pistachio paste (or butter) into the whites until no streaks remain. Sift the pistachio flour and sugar into the mixture in 3 additions, folding with a spatula each time until well combined but still fluffy. Spread the batter onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 14 minutes, or until the edges turn dark brown and the center is springy. Turn off the oven, cool at room temperature, and flip onto a cutting board. Remove the parchment or Silpat, and use a 2½-inch ring cutter to cut out 8 discs and eight 1-inch ovals from the dacquoise. Return the dacquoise trim to the warm oven until dried, about 30 minutes. Cool, then transfer the trim to a food processor. Pulse into fine crumbs; reserve for croustillant tuile powder.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat. Sift half of the powder over the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 3 minutes, or until the sugar is melted. Remove from the oven, cover with a sheet of parchment paper, and carefully flip the Silpat onto a flat surface. Peel off the Silpat, and with a 2½-inch ring cutter, cut at least 8 circles from the sugar. Lift the circles with an offset spatula and transfer to a flat tray. If the sugar becomes too brittle when cut or lifted, slide the parchment back onto the baking sheet and place in the oven for 30 seconds to soften. Cool the tuiles at room temperature and store in an airtight container.
For the Sour Cherry Sauce
Fill one-third of a large saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. In a large heatproof bowl, toss the cherries with half of the sugar, cover with plastic wrap, and set over the pan of simmering water. Heat the cherries until they release their juices, about 1 hour. In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the pectin and stir into the juicy cherries. Heat for 5 minutes, transfer the mixture to a blender, and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine-meshed sieve, chill, and transfer to a piping bag or squeeze bottle.
For the Kirsch Cream
Up to 30 minutes before serving, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the powdered sugar and mascarpone until smooth. Stream in the heavy cream, continuing to whip on high to reach stiff peaks. Whisk in the Kirschwasser and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a St. Honoré tip .Store chilled.
For each serving, set a croustillant tuile on top of a dacquoise round. Pipe about 2 tablespoons of cream onto the tuile and stick about 16 cherry halves in a tightly coiled spiral on top. Pipe more cream onto the cherries in a circular pattern and top with a cherry with a stem and a few caramelized pistachios. Transfer to a chilled dessert plate and pipe the sour cherry sauce onto the plate in a decorative fashion. Set a small piece of pistachio dacquoise on the side and top with a scoop of ice cream.