Pistachio Pie with Lemon Whipped Cream

SERVES: 12

PREP TIME: 30 MINUTES

COOKS IN: 10 MINUTES

Ingredients

FOR THE LEMON CRUST:

  • 12 ounces lemon shortbread cookies (about 26 Oreo-sized cookies)
  • 2 ounces butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest (from 1 large or 2 small lemons)

FOR THE PISTACHIO PIE FILLING:

  • 8 ounces pistachios shelled , (about 2 cups)
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream (8 oz)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (can substitute cream cheese)
  • Green food coloring (optional), (I used Americolor Leaf Green)

FOR THE LEMON WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream (10 oz)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest (from 1 large or 2 small lemons)

Method

TO MAKE THE LEMON CRUST:

  • Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, and preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the lemon cookies in a food processor and process them until they are fine crumbs. Alternately, you can place them in a zip-top plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
  • Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds, until melted. Add the lemon cookie crumbs and lemon zest to the butter and mix them together until it is the texture of wet sand. Press the cookie crumbs in the bottom of the pan and up the sides about 2 inches. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it starts to puff and looks set but is not burned. Let it cool completely.

TO MAKE THE PISTACHIO PIE FILLING:

  • Place the nuts in the bowl of a food processor and turn the processor on. When they have turned to powder, gradually stream in 1 tbsp of oil and continue processing the nuts. Stop the processor periodically to scrape down the bottom and sides. Continue to process the nuts until they have turned into a very fluid butter with a smooth texture, adding a bit of additional oil if necessary to help thin out the nut butter. Depending on your processor, this could take 3-8 minutes. If the nut butter has become warm, let it cool to room temperature before proceeding.
  • In a large mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, then transfer the whipped cream from the mixing bowl to another bowl. In the same mixing bowl, combine the pistachio butter and the powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until well-incorporated. (It will be quite stiff.) Add the vanilla extract, salt, and mascarpone cheese. Beat on medium speed until everything is well-combined. Mascarpone breaks easily, so don’t overwhip the mousse or leave the mixer running unattended.
  • Fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream to lighten the pistachio mixture, then add the rest and gently fold everything together. If desired, add just 1 or 2 drops of green food coloring, to give the filling a slight green color. Scrape the filling into the baked and cooled crust, and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate the pie overnight to set the filling, or for at least 6 hours.

TO MAKE THE LEMON WHIPPED CREAM:

  • Combine the cream, powdered sugar, and lemon zest in the and large bowl and whip them together until stiff peaks form. Pipe a layer of shells or rosettes around the outside of the pie, and garnish them with chopped pistachios, lemon zest, and/or lavender buds. Keep the cake refrigerated until shortly before serving time—the filling will get soft if left at warm room temperatures for extended periods of time. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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