Rustic Pistachio Friands
Yes, thanks, I did have a lovely long weekend. All I’ll say about it is that I appear to have acquired reverse seasickness, which can only be temporarily assuaged by spinning around like a whirling dervish. Some dive sites also recommend getting very drunk. It may come to that.
The beginning of the school year and the cupboard is, yet again, bare. I’m sure I left plenty of baked goods, but all that remains is some neglected fruit cake and a container lined with biscotti crumbs. The Horror puts in a request for pistachio friands. He had spent many months of solid nagging to get me to develop a recipe for these that he would find acceptable. Most recipes are just for plain friands with a couple of pistachios dumped on top, not even to be thought of. I managed to make some a couple of weeks ago, and he condescended to enjoy them very much. I even offered one to his piano teacher with his weekly cup of tea, but felt a curiously familiar xraying sensation pass over me as I handed over the plate. The Horror has inherited his father’s icy death stare! That boy needs to learn that he doesn’t get exclusive rights to any baked goods, no matter how much of a hand he had in the development of the recipe.
It was pretty simple in the end. I’ve just substituted a cup of ground pistachios for the cup of almond meal in the traditional recipe. I’ve been grinding nuts in an old coffee grinder we possibly got as a wedding present, and it does a pretty reasonable, if rustic, job.
So the recipe, if you want it, is really simple. You just mix together a cup of, in this case, pistachio meal, three quarters of a cup of flour, one and two thirds of a cup of icing sugar and a teaspoon of baking powder. Add 125 grams of melted butter and three eggs and mix well.
Except that I didn’t have any icing sugar, because someone at Coles today had my shopping list and had gone around before me taking everything I wanted off the shelves. I hate them so much. No, I won’t love Coles brand soft icing mixture instead, it’s probably made with the ground up souls of exploited farmers. So I gave my new blender an appraising look, and tipped in some caster sugar. I started it off slow, then cranked it up until there was a whirling snowstorm of sugar in there. Great, I won’t need to buy icing sugar any more. I should probably consider doing the nut meal in there too. What an excellent Christmas present that was.
Where were we? Oh yes, spoon the mixture into friand tins. That’s if you really want to thoroughly grease and flour them. I’ve been experimenting with using baking paper as muffin cases because I’m pretending to be an upmarket cafe, and they’re going to work well in friand tins because of the oval shape. So I take my baking paper and cut strips a third of the width across, if you see what I’m saying, then cut them off square. Yes, I should have taken a picture, but I’m in the middle of making dinner now, so use your imaginations. Poke the squares down into the friand shapes, then load them almost to the top with mixture, it doesn’t rise very much. I’m calling them rustic because of the consistency of the pistachio meal and because I’m using whole eggs. This is what they look like.
They look a lot more like real friands, with that rise in the middle with a little break in it, if you use finer meal and five egg whites instead of the three eggs. With the amount if friands we get through, I’m not bothering. These have a distinct murky green colour, a slightly chewy outside and a slightly heavy but recognisably friandy crumb. They’ve gone straight to the top of the Horror’s request list.