Pistachio paste is utterly heavenly – and so are the prices of the commercial stuff. Make it yourself at home with the Magimix Cook Expert! (Traditional cooking method included, too.)
Pistachio paste is a deliciously addictive, but pricey, gourmet specialty that I first discovered in Italy. It is used by pastry chefs to flavour pastries, custards, buttercream icing, macaroons and ice creams – although I ate most of the one, horribly expensive, jar I bought with a spoon.
Up until recently it hadn’t occurred to me to try and make it myself and, in fact, I had always assumed it to be one of those ingredients that really can’t be replicated at home. Wrong.
I was recently looking at the haul of nuts I brought back from Italy and trying to work out how to make the most of this premium seasonal Italian produce. My shiny Magimix Cook Expert caught my eye and it wasn’t long before I had done some quick research and come up with my version of the Pierre Hermés recipe for pistachio paste.
It’s simple to make and I’ve provided traditional methods for those who don’t have the Cook Expert, but you will need a good food processor. Surprisingly, the colour of the paste I made was not so muddy as some others I saw online, retaining much of that wonderful green of the nuts. It also retains that distinctively divine flavour, as I discovered when I dived into it with a spoon. (Old habits die hard, I guess.)
Your pistachio paste will need to be stored in the refrigerator, or it may go rancid, but I’ll be making some pistachio ice cream with what is left of mine well before that can happen. I’ve also whipped up a batch of orange and pistachio cookies and will sharing that recipe, so stay tuned.
- 125 gm raw pistachios
- 30 gm almond flakes
- 60 gm sugar
- 20 ml water
- 40-50 ml rice bran oil or other bland oil
- MAGIMIX COOK EXPERT METHOD
- Place pistachios in the Magimix Cook Expert, set speed to 1A, temperature 100C and toast for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove and set aside to cool.
- Place the water and sugar into Cook Expert bowl, temperature 120C, speed 2A for 4 minutes.
- Quickly add cooled nuts and mix on speed 2A briefly until they are all coated. Spread nuts on a tray to cool slightly.
- Attach the food processor bowl, add pistachios and almonds and pulse until you have a course mixture.
- Add the oil and process for 5-10 minutes until the paste is of the desired consistency, adding a little more oil through the top if necessary.
- OVEN/STOVE TOP METHOD
- Preheat oven to 170C (340F).
- Spread the pistachios out on a tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes, taking care no t to burn them. Allow to cool.
- Cook sugar and water in saucepan over medium head, until it reaches 120C - check using a candy thermometer.
- Quickly pour over the pistachios and mix to coat. Allow to cool slightly.
- Proceed as above with food processor.
- Store in a jar in the refrigerator.