Remember the Ful Sudani (Sudanese Peanut Macaroons) I made a couple of weeks back? This is the pistachio version!
Having discovered the peanut macaroons, my mind immediately started racing through endless possibilities using different nuts and combinations of ingredients. Those peanut macaroons were so amazing, I figured that any number of varieties would work equally deliciously. Pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, throw in a few dried cherries, or raspberries, or apricots, perhaps even a little lemon or orange zest.............
These pistachio macaroons, I think, are even better than the peanut ones. Pistachios have such an amazing depth of flavour, that translated into these simple, crunchy little biscuits, they taste fabulous and somehow seem less sweet than the peanut version.
The only thing to disappoint is that they are not green. I sort of hoped that given the amazing hue of pistachio nuts, the macaroons might take this on a little better. But that aside, they are the sort of biscuits that once you start eating, your hand just keeps dipping into the tin until they have all gone. And then, you just have to make another batch! They are nutty with a background of vanilla, quite crunchy with a creamy backdrop, and light as a feather.
They taste perfect on their own and don't really need any fancy additions. But I wanted to test how far you could take them, so decided to make a Rose and Crushed Raspberry Mascarpone Cream to sandwich them with for an extra treat. I haven't used rose much in the past, but it often seems to be paired with pistachio, so thought I would give it a go.
It actually worked really well, and made them a bit more of a dessert. The soft coolness of the cream sits beautifully against the crisp biscuit and the slightly seedy, slipperiness of the raspberry. The cream has overtones of floral, rose Turkish Delight and with the slightly sharp, fruity raspberry, marries surprisingly well with the pistachio nut.
I think it might be a bit of a grown-up experience....... My daughter described the macaroons as 'yum', but the combination of favours with the cream as 'strange'. I'm not sure she does 'floral' too well yet! The macaroons fortunately go really well with ice cream (which is one of her favourites) and make a great alternative for those of us who can't eat the usual glutenous wafers.
I am entering my Pistachio Macaroons with Rose & Crushed Raspberry Mascarpone Cream into June's Biscuit Barrel Challenge being hosted by Laura over at I'd Much Rather Bake Than. This month's theme is 'Summer'. Laura reliably informs that it has arrived, although I think I need a bit more convincing.......... Either way, these are perfect for a summer's day...... Made with gorgeous green pistachios, summery raspberries and floral rose water, they are full of the flavour and fragrance of warm days and balmy nights.
Having now seen that 'flowers' are the theme for June's Tea Time Treats, I am also sending the recipe over to Karen at Lavender & Lovage and Janie at The Hedge Combers as this month's challenge offering. The addition of rose water to the filling of these macaroons definitely adds an unmistakable hit of floral 'Summeriness'.
And even without the cream, the crisp nuttiness of the biscuits are a perfect nibble for any gathering...... Just be sure to make lots of them...... They won't last long!
Pistachio 'Macaroons' (makes approximately 30 biscuits/15 sandwich biscuits)
130g unsalted pistachio nuts (shelled weight)
1 large egg white
pinch fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
150g caster sugar
150g caster sugar
- Roast the pistachio nuts on a tray at 200 C/400 F/Gas 6 for about 10 minutes, giving a 'shake' to turn half way through roasting and check frequently to make sure they do not burn.
- When the pistachios are cool, coarsely grind them and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3 and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
- Whisk the egg white with the salt until stiff.
- Add the vanilla paste and sugar (a little at a time) and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes a stiff meringue.
- Add the ground pistachio nuts and fold into the meringue to fully combine.
- Pipe or spoon the mixture onto the baking sheets into disc shapes about 3-4 cm/1½ inches in diameter.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the macaroons are golden brown.
- Leave on the baking trays to cool and harden.
Rose & Crushed Raspberry Mascarpone Cream
100 ml double cream
1 teaspoon rose water
½ teaspoon vanilla paste
1 to 2 tablespoons icing sugar (to taste)
120g fresh raspberries
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, Mascarpone, rose water, vanilla, and icing sugar until the cream becomes stiff and holds its shape well.
- Weigh the raspberries into a bowl and using the back of a fork, lightly crush them.
- Add the raspberries to the cream and fold until evenly distributed.
To put together : place a heaped teaspoonful of raspberry cream on the flat side of a macaroon, use a second macaroon to top the cream and gently squeeze together to stick.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.
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