I sometimes wonder – would certain foods be as fun to eat if the methodical process behind preparing and eating them was gone?
In this sense – would pistachio nuts taste just as good if we didn’t have to go through the process of unshelling the fickle little things? There’s something about the routine of rummaging through the nuts, cracking it open between your fingers and popping it out with satisfaction..and then those moments of sheer, teeth-grinding frustration where you encounter a nut that has been roasted but yet it hasn’t given you any crevice through which to lever it open.
I ate some pistachio nuts once, straight out of a packet to test this theory. Yes, it definitely wasn’t the same. But of course pistachios would taste just as good when ground up into something sweet…
This is a Bill Granger recipe I stumbled upon in the paper while waiting for my morning coffee. They’re a little denser than the Raspberry Friands I have previously made, but those were made using fine almond meal that’s been processed on a factory line with high-tech machinery. These you need to grind the nuts by hand (my food processor is weak) with a mortar and pestle and so the consistency is a little chunkier, the friand a little denser. But still deliciously tasty and buttery.
To make 12 friands, you will need:
- 100g pistachios, shelled;
- 1/2 cup plain flour, plus extra for dusting the pan;
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting at the end;
- 6 egg whites, lightly beaten with a fork;
- 115g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the pan.
Finely grind the pistachios using your preferred method (food processor or mortar and pestle) and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celcius. Grease and flour a non-stick 12-hole muffin or friand tray.
Mix together the ground pistachios, flour and icing sugar. Stir in the egg whites until just combined, then add in the melted butter and fold until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until pale gold in colour. They should spring back when touched.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.
Too easy to make and too easily eaten. Morning tea sorted.