In the Middle East pistachios are used like almonds in pilafs, sauces, and desserts such as baklava, ma'amoul (filled cookies), and various puddings. Although Westerners are familiar with almond paste and marzipan, Middle Easterners also make a similar mixture using pistachios. Since this delicate mixture is more expensive than almond paste, however, it is usually reserved for special occasions. The recipe can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled.
1¾ cups (8 ounces/227 grams) unsalted pistachios, finely ground
2 cups (8 ounces/227 grams) confectioner's sugar, or 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces/227 grams) granulated sugar Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon rose water (optional)
About 1 large egg white
In a food processor, finely grind the pistachios, sugar, and salt. If desire, add the rose water. Add enough egg white to make a cohesive paste and knead until smooth. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to mellow. (Pistachio paste can be stored in the refrigerator for at least 3 weeks and in a freezer for up to a year. If the paste hardens, microwave on HIGH for several seconds until pliable.) Substitute for almond paste in baking.
Toot (Persian Pistachio Confection): Shape the pistachio paste into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, lengthening it slightly. Insert a slivered pistachio in an end to resemble a stem. Makes about 24 confections. (In Farsi, toot means mulberry, referring to the confection's shape.)
Joined: 10 Mar 2005 Posts: 104 Location: Oakland, CA
Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:47 pm Post subject:
I found these notes online from someone's blog (sorry, I went through askjeeves so I'm not sure of the url, all I know is the person's last name is Hertzman. He/she encountered pistachio paste in a professional kitchen in France. I quote his/her site below:
"Although I did not believe I would recreate the process, I did take a few notes. In particular, the central ingredient, pâte à pistache, fascinated me. I had little hope of finding this pistachio paste in the United States. I noted that according to the ingredients listed on the label, this pâte consisted of half ground pistachios, half sugar, a small amount of oil, and green food coloring....Remembering that nut pastes are essentially just ground nuts, I bought a bag of roasted, shelled pistachios, set up a small food processor, and proceeded to create some pistachio paste. I ground 2 ounces of pistachios to a powder, added 2 ounces of sugar, and continued to grind the mixture until a dry paste formed. After transferring this mixture to a small bowl, I added a tablespoon of vegetable oil and continued to mix. Low and behold, I had a pretty close imitation of pistachio paste. Unfortunately, instead of the intense green color of the French original, mine was a brownish-ochre color. One more trip to the baking supply store yielded some commercial quality, mint green food coloring gel. After adding a very small knife-point of gel to the paste, mine was now intensely green like the original."
I think I'll try one of the recipes for pistachio paste, and use that for the filling next. I'm not sure whether I should add flour to the filling or not. I'm fairly certain the crust was a sweetened pastry crust, on both top and bottom. Not sure whether I should blind bake or not??
Well, have had no luck with the pistachio paste.... but it seems that there are a heap of recipes for it posted here now.
Air, can you remember anything about the bakery? Colour of outside, shops near it, anything? Had a walk and looked in windows, but couldn't see your tarte. Was it a pastisserie or a boulangerie? (ie lots of creamy cakes and pastries, or breads and a few cake/slice/tarts)
Let me know more info and I can narrow it down and if they are still not displaying the tarte I can at least go in and ask if they normally bake it and try (fingers crossed) for a recipe, or at least will know it is the right shop.
Will try again if you can send me more info. _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Sorry I haven't posted in a while I've been really busy with work.
Anyway, I have been doing some hunting, and I found a directory map that shows the boulangeries in the area (it was a boulangerie I believe- primarily bread) I'll get the link for the map after work today.
I'm kind of wondering if the "tarte" was a misnomer because the filling was very cake-like and looked fairly similar to this:
No problem. I have actually been very ill for a few weeks, so have not been able to get out and about myself. Take your time with the map. It will be at least another week before I am able to run around town again. I was actually about to post my apologies to you for not having been back for another look....
Anyway, hopefully we can solve this riddle. The tarte/cake sounds delicious, and I am looking forward to trying it. _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Debbie I found the link for the map, if you go to the right-hand side there is a drop down menu that will show boulangeries and patisseries in the area...I'm kinnnndd of thinking it might be the Robert Isabelle place, but again I'm not sure. Either that or perhaps Au Pierrot. I don't think it would be # 2 or 7 on the map. I do remember it being on a corner, and the inside was very small and sort of angular. The map can pan around to see more of the street, so that might help.
Wow, I love that map site!!! Have bookmarked it for future use. Thank you.
Hopefully I will be out and about next week - just depends how I am feeling. I think I will need a cup of tea and pastry after weeks in bed, so will have to make this a priority.
Will let you know how it goes.
Have a nice weekend _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
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