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Homemade Pistachio Paste (page 2 of 2)

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Pistachio paste is used to flavor ice creams, pastries or custards. Yesterday, I made my own from scratch using Pierre Hermé's instructions. Amazing!
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In a saucepan mix 7 grams (0.7 dl) water with 250 gr sugar (photo). Use a copper bowl or heavy bottomed saucepan or mix constantly to avoid sugar burning on hotspots (photo). Heat until the temperature reaches 121 C°.

Pour the scalding hot sugar over the pistachio paste and mix in quickly to prevent crystallization.

We are drawing near to completion when the paste starts to look like baklava offal.

Carefully add one teaspoon water at a time and mix thoroughly until you obtain a marzipan-like texture. Do not use too much water!

Knead well with both hands (photo) to get a smooth, homogeneous mixture.

Store in a plastic bag and freeze for best preservation.

This is a rather coarse and rustic pistachio paste, but extremely tasty and great fun to make. I think with a sieve and some more work at the pestle you can get a finer texture if desired.

Published 21/05/2007
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46 Comments

  • #1
  • Comment by Eglantine
  • on: 21/05/2007
Elle est superbe et les quantités sont impressionnantes. Bravo ! Réponses aux questions sur le blog et dans votre boîte aux lettres.
  • #2
  • Comment by jo jo eat 2 love
  • on: 22/05/2007
This looks awesome! I love that you pounded it by hand.
  • #3
  • Comment by Ales (www.preserveless.blogspot.com)
  • on: 27/05/2007
I love your blog, really. The only concern I have about making the paste is that I would probably end up eating it by the spoon ; ). But who cares, would you say no to a treasured secret of pastry chefs?! btw, where did you get the recipe from?
  • #4
  • Comment by HaraldS
  • on: 11/07/2007
Excellent blog you are writing, entertaining and educational to read!I discovered a small error in your homemade pistachio paste where it says; In a saucepan mix 7 grams (0,7 dl) water with 250 grams sugar. Either it should be 70 grams or 0,07 dl. (7g = 7ml = 0,7cl = 0,07dl) Yours sincerely :)
  • #5
  • Comment by rose
  • on: 16/07/2007
Wow, this is great! I want to make real good pistachio cake and been looking around for pistachio paste. It's so much better to make it yourself than store-bought. Your site sure help with clear shots of the process. Thanks for sharing.
  • #6
  • Comment by micheloud
  • on: 19/08/2007
Dommage que ce ne soit pas en français. A quand une version filmée pour you tube? Très bon documents.
  • #7
  • Comment by Chris
  • on: 04/10/2007
Thanks and well done you should start a series the photo's really help.
  • #8
  • Comment by Kictsiftepith
  • on: 09/12/2007
I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well. But it was interesting!
  • #9
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/12/2007
That's why I have so many pictures of every recipe!
  • #10
  • Comment by Peter Corfield
  • on: 07/04/2008
Looks fantastic.
Some questions-
Why does a Pistachio paste need almond? Pistachio is a great taste on its own.
Would preparation in a domestic Food blender/processor make a smoother paste without damaging the taste?
  • #11
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 08/04/2008
Peter, almond add to the taste of pistachio. The reason why they are added is that if you made one with untoasted pistachios only and would not use green food coloring, almost nobody would actually recognize this as pistachio paste or ice cream. You might point out that the problem is how our expectation of what pistachio dishes are expected to taste by industrial food, but we just expect pistachio to taste like bitter almond. Try and see for yourself - a most enlightening experience. You can certainly use a kitchen blender. Have fun!
  • #12
  • Comment by yulia
  • on: 18/04/2008
Great recipe!!!!!!it is simple,tasty,and looks great!!!it helped me a lot!!!!!
  • #13
  • Comment by Malika
  • on: 22/04/2008
Great recipe, very well explained, thanks!
If I want to store it in the fridge, how long can it last?
  • #14
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 22/04/2008
Malika, you can freeze it and store it forever!
  • #15
  • Comment by Carlo
  • on: 10/05/2008
I'm wondering if you can't use a food processor to grind the pistachios.

thank you
  • #16
  • Comment by carlo
  • on: 10/05/2008
One more question - where can you find white almond powder? Grind it yourself? And the bitter almond extract? Where to buy?Thank you
  • #17
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 11/05/2008
Carlo, yes you can use a food processor.
  • #18
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 11/05/2008
White almond powder: either grind it yourself after having skinned the shelled almonds, or buy it from the shop. As for the bitter almond extract, you'll need to buy it, it is a very common pastry ingredient.
  • #19
  • Comment by Maya
  • on: 02/06/2008
I was just looking at Chef Payard's recipe last night for the same thing!
Now I have to make mine ;)
I will probably never, ever, ever do this, but I'm glad someone is!
What a fantastic post!  Love the photos!
I have tried my own version of this but will definitely give this one a try as it looks delicious.  THank you for the pic by pic account.  Yum!
Wow, that really looks amazing. Your photos are so gorgeous, beautiful job!
  • #24
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/06/2008
Maya, good luck with the pistachio paste!
  • #25
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/06/2008
My Sweet and Saucy, thanks for visiting! If you like the photos do check the rest of my site, I have 180 articles with similar pictures mostly.
  • #26
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/06/2008
Vanielje, thanks for visiting and have fun with the Pierre Hermé pistachio paste!
  • #27
  • Comment by Doris Goldbeck
  • on: 14/08/2008
I am trying to make my owm pistachio paste using your recipe, however I am having great difficulty finding the white almond powder.  where can a person buy this?  Could you please let me know.

Thanks
  • #28
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 14/08/2008
Doris, many shops don't stock this, so just buy whole skinned almonds (just the white bit without the brown skin) and put in a food processor until powdered. Pass through a sieve to remove any large bits and you're all set.
  • #29
  • Comment by theresa falvo
  • on: 15/08/2008
This is the best food site I have seen in a long time.  bene, bene, benetheresa falvo
  • #30
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 15/08/2008
Theresa thanks and I hope to see you back on my blog!
  • #31
  • Comment by Amaro
  • on: 22/09/2008
Thank you very much to post this recipe.
Excellent
With regards,
Amaro
  • #32
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 22/09/2008
Amaro, this was my pleasure. Have fun with the pistachio paste!
  • #33
  • Comment by Colin
  • on: 16/10/2008
This is not really paste.  The stuff that you buy use oil.  Anyone tried to add oil (1/3 cup of canola)?
  • #34
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/10/2008
Colin, this indeed is paste, not oil. If you buy pistachio oil, then you've been taken advantage of. In Paris, pastry chefs use paste, not oil.
  • #35
  • Comment by Joann
  • on: 08/06/2009
I just discovered your blog and am thrilled with your recipe!  I will certainly try it.  I purchased a 1kg. tin of pistachio paste from Patisefrance from www.pastrychef.com for $71.00.  I'm developing a pistachio cake recipe but at these prices I have to be careful and make every effort count!  Their paste is very smooth and I love the coarseness of yours.  I'd like to try for something in between and then add finely chopped pistachios at the end.  Thanks for your contribution to my efforts!
  • FX's answer→ Yes it's mighty fun to make your own pistachio paste, but at the end of the day both the homemade and the commercial reek of bitter almond oil!

  • #37
  • Comment by Tenina
  • on: 24/07/2009
Your paste looks so delicious....but you really need a Thermomix for a beautiful creamy textured paste! NO SIEVING ever required!!
  • #38
  • Comment by Miles
  • on: 14/08/2009
Awesome!  I just made some hazelnut praline and can't wait to try this out.  Which book did Pierre Herme publish this recipe in?  Cheers
  • #39
  • Comment by Roba
  • on: 14/02/2010
Hi,
Lovely recipe that I have finally attempted to make! BIG problem though!

I could not mix in the sugar syrup fast enough and so now I have sugar lumps and pistch/almond mix.......is there any solution to this? I would be grateful for any help!

Many thanks

  • FX's answer→ I can't see for sure the problem you encountered, but perhaps heating slightly the paste to dissolve crystallized sugar might help. Good luck!

  • #41
  • Comment by Daniella
  • on: 17/05/2010
I had the same problem mixing in the sugar syrup.Are you sure about 7g of water?
It looks as if it should be more. One tablespoon is 14.79 grams. Is it really half a tablespoon?
  • #42
  • Comment by Twi  
  • on: 13/06/2010
Thank you for this recipe! I made it over a year ago to use when making home made ice cream which my boyfriend loves. This makes the best ice cream ever. and the paste has lasted perfectly in the freezer for all this time (just made more tonight and it was just as good as the first batch). I think out of this recipe I have been able to make about 7-10pints of ice cream so it is well worth the hand grinding effort! :)  

For those looking for almond power use ground almonds - same same.
  • FX's answer→ Glad it worked for you!

  • #44
  • Comment by Mamta
  • on: 01/09/2010
I was able to use a blender to get a fine pistachio powder instead of mortar/pestle.  I think if you use a regular blender (with the cross-blade, not the flat blade) you can get quite a fine powder from the pistachios.  I then used a sieve to take out the larger pieces and blend them again later.  Worked quite well for me (took about 30 minutes for the entire process) and not as much work as using the mortar/pestle.

All in all, great recipe for pistachio paste.  Was able to follow it exactly (except for using blender instead of mortar/pestle) and I came out with a really good pistachio paste.
  • #45
  • Comment by M
  • on: 06/09/2010
Hi, I live in China and cannot find a great many baking and cooking supplies, but I do have some almond extract. Can I use that in place of bitter almond extract? Thanks a lot!
  • #46
  • Comment by Wendy
  • on: 16/05/2011
I can't wait to try this and make gelato! One thing, I found unsalted nuts that were roasted, dry roasted or raw online.  Which one do you recommend? Thanks

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