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Pistachier at Lenôtre

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A pistachio-flavored little cake served with coffee in French gastronomic restaurants. If you get the pistachio paste, you can make it too.

The last recipe I made at my Cakes for Tea class at Lenôtre in Paris is a staple in French gastronomic restaurants. The other two recipes - a bad pine honey gingerbread and some chewy madeleines - were not convincing so I won't publish them here. I make better madeleine than those. But the pistachier was great.


50 gr blanched almond powder
120 gr confectioners' sugar
50 gr regular flour
160 gr egg whites
5 gr baking powder
100 gr butter
70 gr pistachio paste
20 gr sugar
dry whole pistachio

The pistachio paste is difficult to find outside professional pastry stores such as G.Detout. It is a mix of pistachio, sugar, coloring and other ingredients. Not plain ground pistachios as I thought. Mr Schmitt, the pastry chef who held this class at Lenôtre, recommends keeping the pistachio paste in the freezer.

Blanched almond powder is white as coconut powder. It is made by blanching almonds to remove the skins and then grinding them into a powder. You can find it in groceries at least in Europe. You could use regular almond powder but the bits of brown almond skin would ruin the Pistachier's pale green color.

Start by heating the butter in a saucepan until it becomes beige. This is called a beurre noisette - hazelnut butter in French.

In a bowl mix confectioners' sugar, almond powder, flour and pistachio paste.

Beat the egg whites into a foam and delicately fold in. Mix gently.

Fill a pastry bag with the mix.

Fill a star-shaped rubber cake pan with the mix, each no more than 3/4 full. If you don't have pastry bags - I don't - then try filling the pan with a spoon and God helps you.

Garnish each cake with a pistachio.

Bake at 160°C for 15 minutes. Lenôtre recommends turning the tray around at midtime to ensure the heat is bestowed evenly on the cakes.

Turn out the pistachiers and let them cool, upside down until you serve. They are best served warm.



  • #1
  • Comment by Patrick Smith
Pistachier recipe.I am wondering if one of these star shaped cakes is sufficient for a dessert serving? What is the dimension of the "star." I live in the US and have found some rubber pnas by wilton that have 6 stars per pan. Where did you find the pictured ones with 12?many thanks for your time and attention.Patrick
  • #2
  • Answered by fx
These pans belong to the Lenôtre school of pastry but they can be bought in many professional pastry chef stores such as Mora in Paris (mora.fr). I do not know the volume of the stars but you can always fill the pan twice if you make too much dough. Good luck!
  • #3
  • Comment by Devouassoux
In this recipe you don't indicate when the "beurre noisette" should be add. Nevertheless , thank you very much for having given this delicious recipe .
  • #4
  • Answered by fx
Chantal, you can add the butter to the well-mixed dried ingredients right before folding in the beaten whites. Good luck!
  • #5
  • Comment by bakeress
I love your site! Do you have any idea where I could find the star-shaped rubber cake mold in Paris? I'm dying to get my hands on some -they look so fun!
  • #6
  • Answered by fx
Bakeress, my favorite choice to get these molds is Mora at Rue Montmartre. Or Kappashi Dori in Tokyo, or the Internet!
  • #7
  • Comment by Mary Sanavia
For filling the molds easily with the batter,you can use a plastic bag (like ziploc) with one corner snipped off. (Don't use it if it's for a thick batter,like choux dough.)
  • #8
  • Answered by fx
Mary Sanavia, thanks for this great tip, these plastic freezer bags make great pastry bags for sure!
  • #9
  • Comment by lara
the pistachio cakes sounds interesting. is there any chance of getting the pistachio paste reipe? i live in fiji and we def do not have the paste here.

  • #10
  • Answered by fx
Lara, of course I have a whole article about homemade pistacchio paste - it's here: http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?Display=85
  • #11
  • Comment by audrey
They look absolutely lovely.  Must try them.  I am trying to get some pistachio paste, I believe you can get it here in the UK, but if not will try and make some.

  • FX's answer→ Audrey you can look my other article about making your own Pistachio paste.

  • #13
  • Comment by Joanna
Dear FX:
I like very much your website, stories and especially the recipes! I would love to try to make these tea cakes this weekend, but I have a small favor to ask you: Could you please be kind enough to review the instructions for the recipe? you mention "sugar" and "Baking Powder" in the ingredients but they are not used. Did you mean to add the baking powder with the flour, and the sugar to the egg whites after whipping them to medium soft peaks? (this is my guess..). Also, this "sugar", is it regular white granulated sugar?


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