Pistachio macarons

My father loved pistachios and so my sisters and I grew up munching on them seemingly all the time, battling to get some of the pesky little fellas out of their shells. I made these for him on his 80th birthday and he was delighted, although frankly just having all of his children and grandchildren making a fuss of him was all he needed. Don’t even think about chopping the nuts by hand – you have to use a food processor or nutribullet or you’ll be chopping for days.

Ingredients

105g shelled pistachios

250g icing sugar

2 large egg whites

15g caster sugar

65g unsalted softened butter

Method

  1. Put the pistachios + icing sugar in a food processor and pulse to a dust.
  2. In a clean dry bowl, use an electric whisk to whip up the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then whisk in the caster sugar a teaspoonful at a time.
  3. Put 200g of the pistachio/icing sugar mix into a large bowl, reserving the other 155g.
  4. Gently fold the egg whites into the pistachio/icing sugar mix.
  5. Pipe small rounds onto two baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper using a plain nozzle, and let them sit for 20 minutes to form a skin (its how you’ll hopefully get a shiny macaron. Doesn’t always work for me!).
  6. While the macarons rest, heat the oven to 180C, then bake for 10-12 minutes until set.
  7. Leave to cool completely on the baking sheets.
  8. While cooling, beat the butter until smooth then add the remaining pistachio/icing sugar mix that you reserved earlier and keep beating until its light and fluffy.
  9. Sandwich the macarons together and give yourself a pat on the back for doing so well – you’ve made macarons!

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