Pistachio and saffron (known as kesar pista) is a classic Indian combination. The buttery flavor of pistachio goes superbly with the metallic notes of the saffron. You will find all sweets from cookies to ice creams to traditional desserts made with this delicious flavor combination.
I have been making pistachio tuiles for years. I make them often when I’m craving dessert but trying to keep it relatively healthy. For a cookie they are pretty low in calories but entirely delicious.
A few weeks ago my parents came to visit and I wanted to make a quick dessert for after dinner. Since they were visiting on a weekday, I needed to make the dessert before I went to work. I only had an hour. I saw a giant bag of pistachios in the pantry and dug around my fridge looking for inspiration and saw the saffron my mom bought for us recently. The kesar pista tuile was born.
My mom smelled them as soon as she walked in. She walked straight to the tuiles that were still on the wire rack and tasted one. She absolutely loved them. In fact we ate the entire batch of cookies with our chai long before dinner time. Since then, my mom has mentioned the tuiles several times over the phone. It makes me happy when I can introduce my parents to a new food that they love!
Pistachio and Saffron (Kesar Pista) Tuiles
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp saffron
- 3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment (see notes)
- Finely chop or crush the pistachios (I use a food processor but a knife works too)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until they become foamy
- Add in the sugar, saffron and salt
- Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the egg white mixture turns opaque and starts to thicken
- Whisk in butter, flour and pistachios
- Drop a teaspoon of batter at a time onto the baking sheet. Make sure to leave at least 2 inches between each drop.
- Using your finger or an offset spatula, spread each drop of batter into a 2 inch diameter circle. This step is important to make sure you don’t end up with soggy middles. Just spread and even out the batter.
- Bake for 5 to 7 minutes. You can shape the tuiles when they are just out of the oven, so if you like to make shapes this is the time!
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Makes about 48 tuiles
I prefer to line the baking sheet in parchment over a silicone mat because I find that it yields a crispier tuile. Every time I’ve used a silicone mat, I’ve ended up with a slightly gooey center.
Feel free to use a silicone mat if you prefer but you may have to increase cooking time by a minute or two.
I like to melt my butter with the saffron added in the microwave. Heat helps to release the intense yellow color.
Recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share
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