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Pistachio Paste

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My favorite application at the moment is a simple pistachio gianduja consisting of high quality pistachio paste, chocolate, and confectioners sugar. Slab it, cut it, dip it in dark chocolate, and decorate with a bit of pistachio flour on one corner. Looks elegant, tastes amazing.

The only down side is the cost of high quality pistachio paste. From what I can tell, the majority of the products available are a combination of almond and pistachio, not pure pistachio. To me, the difference in flavor is worth the price.

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yes, the cost of pure pistachio paste is way up there, especially if you get the Bronte paste.

Luis

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Hi - I am currently making pure pistachio paste at home (due to the price of commercial products as mentioned above).

I was wondering what consistency the commercial products are? I currently have a paste that is very thick. I could pipe it and it would almost hold its shape. Does this sound the right consistency or should I take it further where it is more "runny"?

Any guidance appreciated?

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Hi - I am currently making pure pistachio paste at home (due to the price of commercial products as mentioned above).

I was wondering what consistency the commercial products are? I currently have a paste that is very thick. I could pipe it and it would almost hold its shape. Does this sound the right consistency or should I take it further where it is more "runny"?

Any guidance appreciated?

Runnier - it's runny with a layer of oil after sitting.

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Hi - I am currently making pure pistachio paste at home (due to the price of commercial products as mentioned above).

I was wondering what consistency the commercial products are? I currently have a paste that is very thick. I could pipe it and it would almost hold its shape. Does this sound the right consistency or should I take it further where it is more "runny"?

Any guidance appreciated?

Runnier - it's runny with a layer of oil after sitting.

Thanks Kerry. Looks like I'll keep it going in the mixer tonight. I was advised to keep the mixer unit cold and not let the nuts heat to the point where the oil seperates completely, so I've been doing it in short bursts and then putting the machine back in the freezer or fridge to cool it down. It seems to be working for now, so fingers crossed.

Edited to add: I've got it to the point where is gets a slight sheen after sitting, so I don't think I'm far from what you're describing. One or two more bursts in the machine tonight should do it.


Edited by gap (log)

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Hi,

I'm new to eGForums. I've been searching for a way to make pure pistachio paste. I am not even sure what I should use or if there's any tricks. I have grinded roasted pistachio and pistachio oil. Should I just mix them up?

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"I was wondering what consistency the commercial products are?"

I recently bought a tin of bronte paste.

It reminds me of tahini (consistency wise).


Edited by Heartsurgeon (log)

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Hi,

I'm new to eGForums. I've been searching for a way to make pure pistachio paste. I am not even sure what I should use or if there's any tricks. I have grinded roasted pistachio and pistachio oil. Should I just mix them up?

Hi and welcome to the forum.

I've been making pistachio paste at home for a while now with great results. I take a batch of pistachios and lightly toast half (only lightly so they keep their green colour) and steam the other half. I then blend/blitz in a food processor. The trick here is to keep the mixture cool so that the oils don't seperate out of the nuts. This usually means doing short bursts in the food processor and then transferring the mixing bowl into a fridge/freezer to let it cool down before you keep going. The nuts will first turn to pistachio meal, then slowly combine into a dough-like texture and will then start to break down into a paste. Obviously the stronger your food processor the better. I usually do this process over a few hours - blitz for 1-3 minutes and when it starts to heat up, put it in the fridge and wait 15 mins or until cool. It's easy to do while watching TV or while you're doing other work in the kitchen.

The resulting paste has been used with success in entremets and chocolates (I used this recipe for pistachio ganache: http://www.chefeddy....hio-chocolates/). I have also used it in ice cream but you will get a little nut residue at the bottom of the unchurned mixture when you leave it to settle overnight. This can be strained out without affecting flavour and I have left it in without affecting mouthfeel as well.


Edited by gap (log)

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It reminds me of tahini (consistency wise).

Thanks - that is a good description of the consistency I am achieving now.

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Hi,

I'm new to eGForums. I've been searching for a way to make pure pistachio paste. I am not even sure what I should use or if there's any tricks. I have grinded roasted pistachio and pistachio oil. Should I just mix them up?

Hi and welcome to the forum.

I've been making pistachio paste at home for a while now with great results. I take a batch of pistachios and lightly toast half (only lightly so they keep their green colour) and steam the other half. I then blend/blitz in a food processor. The trick here is to keep the mixture cool so that the oils don't seperate out of the nuts. This usually means doing short bursts in the food processor and then transferring the mixing bowl into a fridge/freezer to let it cool down before you keep going. The nuts will first turn to pistachio meal, then slowly combine into a dough-like texture and will then start to break down into a paste. Obviously the stronger your food processor the better. I usually do this process over a few hours - blitz for 1-3 minutes and when it starts to heat up, put it in the fridge and wait 15 mins or until cool. It's easy to do while watching TV or while you're doing other work in the kitchen.

The resulting paste has been used with success in entremets and chocolates (I used this recipe for pistachio ganache: http://www.chefeddy....hio-chocolates/). I have also used it in ice cream but you will get a little nut residue at the bottom of the unchurned mixture when you leave it to settle overnight. This can be strained out without affecting flavour and I have left it in without affecting mouthfeel as well.

Hi Gap,

Thank you so much for your reply. I'll try to follow your method.

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It now appears that Agrimontana's excellent pistachio paste is unavailable (to ordinary mortals, at least) in the U.S. The only remaining place that states they carry it (and that I have found in a lengthy web search) is Pacific Gourmet, but from all I can tell, they serve only the San Francisco area. L'Epicérie no longer has it in stock and, from all I can judge from their customer service, will not have it. Same for a gourmet shop in Manhattan.

 

So I have begun looking at other high-quality brands and have come across MEC3 (which got a few very strong recommendations on the Cheftalk forum) and Sosa (I cannot find any reviews, but their products in general get high marks). Does anyone have information on these two brands and/or any other sources with which you are familiar?

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MEC3 makes a fabulous strawberry compound. @Chocolot got us samples of their stuff the first Vegas workshop. Pretty sure someone got the pistachio and could comment.

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I have used the MEC 3 - it was labelled for gelato :( so it wasn't the pure paste I was really after.  But it worked in all the applications I needed it for: buttercream, ganache (not confectionery, for cake fillings), cheesecake and was better than other brands I tried.  I think I got it from Pastry Chef Central at the time.  I ran out and needed some quickly a few weeks ago for an order of pistachio eclairs so I bought the Sosa from AUI.   The Sosa was sweeter (to my taste) than the MEC3.  It has nice color and was ok for adding to the pastry cream; but I don't think I would buy it again for what I need it for.  I'm going to get more of the MEC3.

 

I wish more Agrimontana stuff was available here.  Their apricot bakeproof jam was the stuff of dreams. People still talk about the apricot linzer tarts I made with it, and I haven't been able to get my hands on Agrimontana apricot jam in at least 8 or 9 years :(

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@JeanneCake,

Obviously Agrimontana is missing out on the U.S. market. I realize that the MEC product is sold as gelato flavoring, but I thought it was pure paste. What else does it contain? The MEC website says the sole ingredient is "Pistachio paste," but of course that could be deceptive depending on the meaning of "paste." I was always impressed with the Agrimontana product because it did not resort to coloring its product green--and some American sellers included a caution not to expect a green color.  If MEC is not just paste, then I am at a loss for locating the product.

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Update: The Manhattan site that carried Agrimontana just a few weeks ago now has Thiercelin, a French brand, priced at $175 per kilo (on the Thiercelin site it's $87). It says it is 100% pistachios. Might have to add a "pistachio surcharge" to those chocolates.

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I don't have the tin any more so I can't tell what else was in there but they also sell a 100% pure pistachio paste so they definitely have two different pistachio products.  I would venture a guess it had some almonds in there as well as some sugar; it was wonderful even with that.  This is what's on the PastryChef.com site: http://www.pastrychef.com/MEC3-Gelato-Flavoring-Pastes_c_53.html

 

and this is what I was hoping for: sicilian pistachio paste

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Thanks for clearing that up. On the Gourmet Food World site (to which you linked for the pure paste) I found the other MEC3 product (the one that Pastrychef sells), and it does contain almonds and sugar as well as pistachios. I suppose the price of the two products says it all:  2 kilos for $307 for the pure paste, 2 kilos for $141.50 for the mixed.

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I reread another thread on pistachio paste (mostly having to do with ice cream) and found the Fiddyment Farm reference, with some good reviews on Amazon for their paste. So I ordered a small container of paste and some pistachios and will see how that is. The pricing is about $125 for the equivalent of 2 kilos (somewhat different from the MEC3 pricing). I'll report here on how the California paste stacks up against the Sicilian.

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Speaking of ice cream, I have tried a couple different brands of pistachio paste for modernist gelato and have been disappointed.  Of course they were not $150 per kilo either.  Best results so far have been with Jif peanut butter.

 

 

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7 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Best results so far have been with Jif peanut butter.

 That must be some new kind of alchemy?:D

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Spoke to the gelato maker who is next to us at the NW chocolate festival. He had a MEC3 'badge' on his chef's coat. He said there are two MEC3 products one pure Sicilian pistachio - the other a mix. He said you could contact him at info@nuttysquirrelgelato.com. He loves to talk pistachio!

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4 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Spoke to the gelato maker who is next to us at the NW chocolate festival. He had a MEC3 'badge' on his chef's coat. He said there are two MEC3 products one pure Sicilian pistachio - the other a mix. He said you could contact him at info@nuttysquirrelgelato.com. He loves to talk pistachio!

 

Yes, that is what JeanneCake pointed out. Thanks for the email contact. Tomorrow the paste I ordered from Fiddyment Farm arrives, and I will do a side-by-side taste test with the Agrimontana product.

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