I have no recollection of ever having tried a pistachio until I read The Pistachio Prescription in middle school. After reading it, I immediately tried and became obsessed with pistachios. In college my grandma used to send me a 5 pound bag the first week of school. I’d dump them into a giant tub and work my way through the semester with the tub at my side.
I quickly became the go-to source for pistachios and found myself replenishing 5 pounds of pistachios all too often. Not an easy task with no car on a college campus where it snows from October to May. But I secretly loved my reputation as the pistachio supplier. Pistachios for all!
I brought my obsession into my relationship and now I’m passing it on to my kids. Everyone agrees that it’s as fun to crack open a nut as it is to eat one.
It isn’t the picture of healthy, but it is the picture of deliciousness- and sometimes that’s all that really matters.
adapted from Desserts
Prep Time: 40 mins Cooking Time: 35 mins
10 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
zest of 1 lemon
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon pistachio paste
green food coloring (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 and cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar.
2 Add egg yolks one at a time and then add lemon zest, baking soda and pinch of salt.
3. Quickly mix in flour, roll into a ball and wrap in plastic.
4. Refrigerate for 1 hour
5. Start making the filling by using your whisk attachment to beat the egg yolks with sugar.
6. Add a pinch of salt and sift in the flour to combine.
7. Bring milk to a boil and then slowly pour it into the egg mixture with the whisk going on your mixer.
8. Pour the entire mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat until cream thickens.
9. Stir in the pistachio paste and a drop of green food coloring then let cool completely.
10. Form the pastry dough into a ball then roll it out.
11. Use the the outside circle of an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan to measure and cut a circle out of the dough.
12. Transfer dough to a parchment lined spring form pan and gently press down into place.
13. Prick the dough with a fork, cover with another piece of parchment and fill with pie weights (or dry beans)
14. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool completely.
15. Fill tart with pistachio cream and decorate with chocolate sprinkles.
Serves: 8 to 10
Note: If you can’t find pistachio paste, you can make it. To make pistachio paste, take 1 pound of shelled pistachios and dry them out in the oven, then blanch them for a few seconds in boiling water and remove the skins. Chop them with a knife, then puree them in the food processor. Transfer to a large bowl and add 4 1/2 oz of almond flour and 10 drops of almond extract. Stir 2 1/4 cups of sugar and 4 1/2 tablespoons water together in a saucepan, then bring to boil without stirring further. When the mixture reaches 250 degrees, pour it over the pistachio mixture and stir. Transfer everything to a food processor and blend until smooth.