Pistachio Torta

Italy is the seventh largest producer of pistachios, grown in Sicily where trees flourish in Mt. Etna’s volcanic soil. Most of Sicily’s pistachios are used in ice cream or pastries. This moist, flavorful cake is incredibly fragrant thanks to the frothy orange blossom whipped creme fraiche that marries beautifully with the distinctive panache of pistachio.

Ingredients

Torta

  • ⅓ C (41 g) flour, plus additional for dusting
  • ½ tsp (2.3 g) baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 oz (198 g) pistachio paste
  • ¼ C (48 g) sugar
  • 8 Tbsp (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) honey
  • 3 lg eggs
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) Amaretto liqueur

Panna Acida

  • 8 oz (227 g) crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) orange-blossom water

Honeyed Oranges

  • 2 Tbsp (29 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp (12 g) sugar
  • 3 oranges, peeled and cut into ¼-in (6-mm) rounds
  • ⅓ C (78 ml) honey
  • Pinch of salt

Plating

  • ½ C (62 g) roasted shelled pistachios, chopped
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Torta

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line bottom of an 8-inch (20-cm) springform pan with parchment; grease and flour pan, including parchment. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another bowl, cream together pistachio paste and sugar with paddle attachment on low. Add butter; increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Drizzle in honey, beating continuously. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until completely combined. Beat in Amaretto. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Pour into prepared pan; smooth top with a spatula. Bake 25 minutes; let cool 20 minutes before removing ring. Cool cake completely before serving.

Panna Acida

Whisk together crème fraîche and orange-blossom water until it just begins to get stiff; refrigerate.

Honeyed Oranges

In a frying pan, melt butter and sugar over medium until butter begins to foam and brown. Add orange rounds; cook about 1 minute or until edges just begin to caramelize. Add honey and pinch of salt, swirling pan. Remove from pan and either serve immediately or cool to room temperature before serving.

Plating

Top cake with the chopped pistachios and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with a side dollop of panna acida and honeyed oranges. 

  • Prep time: 22 minutes.
  • Cook time: 25 minutes.
  • Makes 8 servings.

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