I ran into a friend of mine at the grocery store and the conversation steered towards pistachios and how difficult they can be to find raw, shelled, and organic. I bake with a lot of different nut flours but for some reason pistachios are not often in my rotation- perhaps that’s why. The next time I saw them at the store, I bought a pound or two and made this torte, ice cream, and added them to a variety of breads and chocolates as well.
This recipe is based on a Sicilian dessert I saw in Southern Italian Desserts on my mother’s desk a long while back. I’d been wanting to make it for some time and the pistachio conversation brought it all back.
While this torte can stand on its own, it also reminded me of the bottle of Limoncello my parents had brought back for me from Italy. I’d been saving it for a rainy day and what better occasion than the creation of a perfect pistachio torte?
adapted from Southern Italian Desserts
225 grams raw, shelled pistachios
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon
6 large eggs, separated
125 grams sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Blend the pistachios and salt in a food processor until almost fine. A few larger pieces are okay. Pulse in the zest.
In a large bowl using a handheld mixer (or standup if you have one) beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add 75 grams of the sugar and beat until stiff.
In a second smaller bowl, beat the egg yolks and 50 grams of sugar until yolks turn slightly pale. Fold the yolk mixture into the whites. When blended, fold the pistachios in as well, a third at a time.
Pour mixture into the springform pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. A toothpick should come out with some crumb but not wet. Let cool completely before cutting. Sprinkle powdered sugar over if desired.
1 pint (or more) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 Tablespoons (or more) limoncello
2 Tablespoons sugar
Combine the ingredients in a bowl, stir, cover, and let sit for at least an hour. Spoon the juices over the strawberries at least once and again before serving.