One of my favourite flavours is Pistachio. When it the Mediterranean, the first ice cream has to be a pistachio flavoured one. Today I wanted to do a little baking, partly to have something to take when visiting friends this evening, and partly to have a little store/stash of these dainties.
I call these petit fours. In Italy and specifically when admiring the trays of tiny nut biscuits in patisserie windows, I would call Mr S just to look at them. They have all sorts of local names ranging from Ricciarelli, Cavallucci or just 'Macaroons' . The little I know about such 'nutty' biscuits is that they are delicious.
These nutty biscuit are just the thing to have after dinner, when no dessert is needed, but lovely with a little thimble full of liqueur.
Here is my original recipe for
Almond and Pistachio Petit Fours
50g shelled pistachios
200g ready ground almonds
100g icing sugar
25g very finely chopped candied lemon peel
1/4 tsp almond essence
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
First: if the pistachios have a skin, cover them in boiling water, and removing a few at a time, remove the skins. Put the skinned pistachios on a board and chop. Its good to have varying sized pieces so it is best not to do this in a processor, where there is a danger of getting too fine pieces and too much oil coming out of the pistachios.
Preheat the oven to 150 c Fan, and line a couple of strong baking sheets with baking parchment.
Whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy, but not dry. Add two thirds of the icing sugar sifted, and whisk well again.
Add the very finely chopped candied lemon peel, and whisk, to ensure even distribution.
Add the almond essence and egg yolk, and mix in the egg whites.
Add the remaining ingredients except for a couple of teaspoons of chopped pistachios, which will be used to garnish the top of the biscuits.
Leave to stand for about ten minutes. During this time the dried almonds will absorb some of the moisture.
Have a small bowl of water into which to dips your hand, as moist hands makes shaping the mixture far easier.
I weighed my biscuit dough to about 18g, shaped them into a ball, and put them on the parchment. I got 32 small biscuits.
Left them a further 15 minutes at room temperature, then popped them in the oven. Watch them and turn and change shelves to ensure a pale even colour. It took 20 minutes for them to bake.
Remove from the oven and the leaving them on the parchment, remove the trays, and place the parchment and biscuits on a cooling rack to cool. After five minutes remove the parchment and continue to cool. Store in an airtight tin....and enjoy!