PISTACHIO CRISPS WITH MASCARPONE CHEESE AND GRAPE COMPOTE
2 pounds large red seedless grapes, stemmed, halved
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons frozen white grape juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 1/2 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese*
5 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 large vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup shelled natural pistachios
1 frozen puff pastry sheet (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
Small grape clusters
Fresh mint sprigs
Stir grapes and sugar in heavy large skillet to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Add juice concentrate and spice powder. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until syrup thickens enough to coat spoon, about 30 minutes. Pour compote into sieve set over medium bowl; drain grapes well. Transfer grapes to another medium bowl. Refrigerate grapes and syrup separately until cold, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover each; keep refrigerated.)
For mascarpone cream:
Place mascarpone in small bowl; sift sugar over. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; stir to blend. Chill at least 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)
Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Blend powdered sugar and nuts in processor until nuts are finely chopped. Sprinkle 10-inch square area on work surface with 1/3 cup nut sugar; top with pastry sheet. Sprinkle pastry with 1/3 cup nut sugar. Roll out pastry to 12-inch square. Roll up into 12-inch-long log. Cut into sixteen 3/4-inch-wide rounds. Roll out each to 4-inch-diameter round, sprinkling with more nut sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Arrange rounds on prepared sheets. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375Â°F. Bake pistachio rounds uncovered until brown on bottom and golden on top, reversing sheets after 10 minutes, about 16 minutes total. Transfer crisps to racks and cool. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)
Spread 2 tablespoons mascarpone cream on each of 8 crisps. Place on plates. Spoon cooked grapes atop cream. Cut 8 crisps in half. Drizzle each dessert with grape syrup, then garnish each with 2 crisp halves, grape cluster, and mint.
*Italian cream cheese; available in the cheese department of many supermarkets and at Italian markets.
Makes 8 servings.