Pistachio Cream

by Jenn on March 7, 2010

in Desserts,Gluten Free


I am devoting an entire post to this cream because it is worthy of a post all of its own – I originally made this when I made these tartes au citron last week, and it was the perfect paring with the lemon curd.  Ha yes, last time I tricked you and only showed you the dish 75% done!  Sometimes I can be sneaky like that.  But I had my reasons, and the reason was to give the proper homage to this delicious cream.  I was worried about the tartes possibly being a little too tart, and so I wanted to make a sweet little something to complement them.  I love lemons and pistachios together, it’s such a bright blend of flavors.  Well, actually I love pistachios in just about any way, but that’s beside the point.  In the end the tartes were just fine, but I decided to add this on anyways, haha.  I really just sort of threw this together, and now that I had an entire container of it in my fridge I keep coming up with ideas for how to use it – well provided my husband doesn’t eat it all first!

There is one change I really think needs to happen from my original go at the pistachio cream, and I am going to put it directly in the instructions – that is to blanch the pistachios first, to help soften them up.  The cream was rich and flavorful and sweet, but really too gritty in the way that I did this.  Blanching the pistachios will allow you to get closer to a true purée, making for a much smoother texture.  So don’t skip that step.  It’s not the end of the world if you do, because this was really quite something to behold, but it will help immensely.  Mouthfeel is just as important as taste, and should be treated with equal consideration.

I did my best to form pretty little quenelles of cream on top of these tartes, but think I need some more practice – they didn’t quite come out as pretty as they should…

A little goes a long way with this cream, so you only need a small amount!


300 g pistachios
20 g butter
200 g powdered sugar
100 g heavy cream
50 g sour cream

1.  Shell the pistachios.  Blanch them for a couple minutes in boiling water, and then drain and cool.
2. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until it resembles a smooth butter.  Add in the butter and pulse again until smooth and incorporated.  Add in and combine in the processor the powdered sugar, just a little bit at a time.  It will be soft and fine.
3. In a bowl, take a whisk and whip the cream.  I find this actually easier by hand, because I can control more precisely how whipped I want the cream to be.  It doesn’t take that long, maybe about 10 minutes.  When you get soft peaks, fold in the sour cream, and whip again with the whisk until you are able to form stiff peaks.
4. Pour a couple of spoonfuls of the pistachios mixture onto the cream, and fold with a spatula.  Continue to do so, gently, until all of the pistachio has been incorporated.  Cover and set in the fridge for at least an hour before use so it will be firm and easier to work with.  Enjoy!


Also submitted to – Gluten Free Wednesdays and Friday Foodie Fix


Ariane March 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm

You think this would work with greek yogurt instead of the sour cream? And how about with hazelnuts? I have about 3/4lb that I need to use up :-)

Bob March 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Sounds good to me, I love pistachios. I bet this would be good on chocolate cake too.

Jenn March 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm

@ariane – I’m definitely sure you could use hazelnuts or whatever type of nuts you want – with hazelnuts I would definitely blanch them and then rub off the skins – as to the Greek Yogurt, I’ve never tried it, but if you do I’d be curious as to how it comes out!

Iain October 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Hey, this was interesting particularly as I want to make nocciola gelato (Hazelnut Ice cream)… I am becoming obsessed with getting this right after having it regularly in Italy. I now live in the UK and have never seen it anywhere here. I think the idea of ‘blanching’ the hazelnuts first would be a good start for me. I am looking for a untextured cream so I think id end up straining the whole thing 😛


Jenn March 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm

@bob – yes it definitely goes well with chocolate too! ha this made much more than the few spoonfuls I needed to garnish the tartes, so last week I experimented with it on other desserts that we had – it goes great on chocolate anything!

Lauren @CoffeeMuffins March 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Wow my Mum loves pistachios, this sounds wonderful as an ingredient for my mothers day tart, thanks!

Valérie March 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm

This sounds excellent! I’ve never thought to pair lemon with pistachio in a dessert, even though I have a recurring addiction to sea salt and lemon pistachios – but npw that you’ve mentioned it, it sounds like such an obvious match!

Shirley @ gfe March 9, 2010 at 4:48 am

Wow! Just gorgeous … and I love the ingredients. :-)


Mhe-Lhanee Benito March 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

Wow! I can’t believe, it only takes 5 simple ingredients to make a great dessert! Congratulations for making on the Top 9!!

viviane bauquet farre / food & style March 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Just beautiful! I adore pistachios… A perfect combination with the tarte aux citrons.

Jenn March 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm

@Lauren – if you end up making it I’ll be curious as to how it comes out for you!

Jenn March 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm

@ Valérie – Yes until I made this I had not thought of pairing pistachios and lemon together either – in fact when I was making this I was deciding between using almonds or pistachios….but I decided the pistachios would add a bit more character to the flavor combo on top of the tartes.

Jenn March 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm

@Shirley @Mhe-Lhanee @Viviane – Thanks so much!!

Joy March 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm

That looks great, I would never think of using pistachio that way. Maybe as a topping. Thank you for sharing.

Tony Perez March 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Jenn — this looks flawless and sounds delicious!

RaeDi March 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Beautiful photo,and the Pistachio Cream looks delicious ~ and I love lemons so it was a good marriage, I am sure they complemented each other well….RaeDi

Lauren March 10, 2010 at 4:52 am

Oh my Jenn. This is just awesome. I want some asap =D.

Linda March 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm

This looks wonderful. I’ll have to come up with an excuse to try it soon. Thanks for participating in Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

vrinda March 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Looks delish and nice shot….

Brian March 13, 2010 at 6:42 pm

I’ve never tried to make a cream like this. It sounds really good. Thanks for the idea.

pierre March 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm

i love pistaccio so your dessert is mine !! cheers Pierre

Leah March 16, 2010 at 7:18 am

Holy COW that’s a good idea. I think I need to make these. Immediately.

Josh April 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Thanks – For the Pistachio cream.. I had a idea in my head and it wouldn’t let me get to sleep. I think its the low carb diet my PT put me on lol. But Here goes.. A Vanilla and Rosewater Cheesecake (unbaked) with a layer of pistachio cream – may need to add gelatin to help it set, a layer of a rich but not too heavy chocolate custard topped with a thin raspberry glaze topped with fresh ripe raspberries and a butterscotch biscuit base. Probably over the top but i have a sweet tooth hehe.

Kim-Cook It Allergy Free August 6, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Jenn, I know this is an older post, but this looks AMAZING! I love using pistachios! I use them in salads, my pesto sauce, and so many other savory dishes! Never thought to use them for something like this! Great idea!!!

Jean March 14, 2012 at 5:06 am

Is this cream thick enough to go into macaroons? Sounds delicious!

Jenn March 14, 2012 at 8:45 am

I dont think so, unless you kept it very chilled…

Jean March 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

I ended up trying it anyway. However, cut down the amount to 1/4 of your original recipe as i didn’t need so much. Maybe that changed the consistency. But it was perfect and pasty. Perfect to spread on the macarons. And tasted amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

Susie Davies-lowe December 10, 2013 at 1:05 am

Thank you – I tries a gluten, sugar, soya, and others free fresg raspberry cheesecake on sunday on Saturday- it was soooooo good !

Jenn December 10, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Oh great, so glad you enjoyed it!

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