September 24, 2013

Pistachio Paste

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One of the cooking ingredients that is not easy to find in grocery stores is pistachio paste or butter. However, in recent days, pistachios in shells or roasted shelled started to have a significant presence almost everywhere, from the local grocery stores to Walmart and Target, and of course online stores that sell nuts in bulk. I bought a 3-pound bag of shelled raw pistachios because I wanted to make paste to use for ice cream and baked goods. The roasted ones are just too brown and produce an odd color that is not too appealing.

A few recipes I found suggest to blanch the raw nuts in boiling water then roast on very low heat for 10 minutes. I blanched but didn't roast them because I think they need the moisture. They also need a lot of oil because they are naturally not greasy. Pierre Hermé's recipe has almond flour for the much needed oil and bitter almond oil. The paste I made has nothing but pistachios, sugar, water, and light olive oil. It has no almonds nor flavorings and no food color too.  

Pistachio Paste
6 tablespoons sugar, add more if you want it sweeter
3 tablespoons water
1 pound raw shelled pistachio, about 3 cups
3 cups boiling water
4 to 6 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes until sugar has dissolved completely; let cool.
  • Place nuts in a large bowl and add boiling water; let stand for 5 minutes. Place a small portion of nuts at a time on a towel and rub the skins off. 
  • Transfer skinned nuts in a food processor and process for 2 minutes until grainy. Add cooled syrup and 4 tablespoons of oil and process until smooth, frequently scraping sides and lid. The paste will not be as smooth and creamy as almond or peanut butter. (I added a tablespoon of oil to 8 ounces of paste and used an immersion blender.) 
  • Keep in lidded jars in the refrigerator until ready to use.

First on the list using the paste is of course ice cream. I love the mild flavor of pistachio and its easy-on-the-eyes color.

Pistachio Ice Cream
3 egg yolks
1½ cup whole milk
½ cup sugar
pinch of sea salt
8 ounces pistachio paste
1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • In a small saucepan, beat sugar and egg yolks until creamy. Add milk and salt and cook on low-medium heat while stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until mixture has thickened and coats the spatula.
  • Transfer into a container and whisk in pistachio paste. Add whipping cream and mix until fully blended.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours. 
  • Churn in ice cream machine. Freeze for 2 hours before serving.


JMom said...

I ran across a recipe that called for pistachio paste but I didn't know where to get some. Didn't even think of making it myself! Thanks for this :)

Winnie said...

Pistachio paste became very popular here, so I'm sooooooo thankful to you for sharing this recipe!!
Love the ice cream :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great sounding pistachio paste recipe. I'm going to make it tonight but I was thinking of using pistachio oil in place of the olive oil. Would that be too over the top?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and your ice cream looks so good that I'm craving it right now. Thanks again!

Oggi said...

Anonymous @3/18/15
Thanks. If I have pistachio oil I will surely add it if the flavor is not too strong.

Unknown said...

How do you store pistachio paste?

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