Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sweet Pistachio Butter

1 cup pistachios, shelled, blanched and skinned (instructions below)
1 cup almonds, blanched and skinned
roughly 3/4 cup granulated sugar (next time I will prob. sweeten with a mild honey or light agave nectar)
1/2 cup or so hot water
couple pinches of salt
To blanch the almonds and pistachios just drop them in a pot of boiling water for a minute or so. I use a slotted spoon to remove a couple of test nuts. Test one of the almond, the skins should puff out a bit and slide of easily with a good pinch. The pistachios are a little trickier because of their funky shapes and you might need to coax the skins off using a variety of any of the following: pinching, picking, or rubbing.
The next step is to make a nut puree. I gave my hand blender a good workout, but it worked quite well for this purpose and I ended up with a nice smooth nut butter in the end. Place the nuts, and about 1/2 cup hot water in a medium bowl. Get in there are puree it. You may need to add more water to thin things out - just ad a bit at a time, you're in trouble if you add too much. I like mine a consistency that is easily spreadable, I don't like nut butters that are so thick they tear the bread you are spreading them on.
Sweeten it up. I ended up stirring in about 3/4 of a cup of sugar to sweeten my pistachio butter. You might like a little more or a little less. Start with 1/4 cup and ad in 1/4 cup increments from there. Stir in a pinch or two of salt to pull everything together.

Makes about 2 cups.