Pistachio Pastry Cream by Carol Kicinski

About 2 cups.

1½ cups Unsalted pistachios, finely ground
3 cups Milk (can use low fat or dairy free)
¼ teaspoon Kosher or fine sea slat
6 Large egg yolks
½ cup Sugar
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Cold unsalted butter (or dairy free substitute)
1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract 


In a large sauce pan combine the pistachios, milk and salt and bring just to a boil. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Measure the liquid, you need 2 cups. If you don’t have 2 cups add more milk. Rinse and wipe out the saucepan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is thick and light yellow, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the cornstarch. Slowly pour in the pistachio milk and mix until well combined. Pour the mixture into the saucepan.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the mixture starts to boil gently. Continue cooking, stirring constantly for 1 or 2 minutes until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the cold butter and vanilla. If the mixture starts to look curdled, just whisk the daylights out of it, it will come together again. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressed directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
Pastry cream can be made 2 to 3 days ahead. Whisk the pastry cream by hand or with a handheld mixture until smooth before using.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!