Pistachio Turnovers By Najmieh Batmanglij

Rating: 
Yield: 
20 pieces.
Ingredients: 

Dough:
Use ready-made puff pastry (thawed) or make your own dough (below)
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted with 1 teaspoon baking powder

Filling:
1 cup ground pistachios
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon rose water

Dusting and Decoration:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup ground pistachios

Instructions: 

To make the homemade dough: In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until creamy. Add yogurt, oil, and milk, and mix for 2 minutes. Gradually blend in 3 cups sifted flour mixture. Knead for about 5 minutes to produce a dough that does not stick to your hands (add more flour if necessary). Place the dough in a zip-lock bag, seal, and refrigerate for 3 hours. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a wide skillet over medium heat, combine the ground pistachios and sugar, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the cardamom and rose water, and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Set aside to cool. Place the oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 baking sheets with baking mats or parchment paper. Dust a cool, floured surface. Knead the dough for 1 minute and roll it out to a 1/8-inch thick sheet (if using ready made, thawed puff pastry, spread it out on the floured surface). Use a cookie cutter or the open end of a glass, dipped in flour, to cut out 3-inch-diameter circles of dough. Fill each circle with 2 teaspoons of the pistachio mixture. Fold each circle into a crescent shape and close the edges with your fingers. Use a fork to crimp around the edges of the dough to double seal the filling inside. Carefully transfer the turnovers one by one onto the baking sheet. Do not crowd. Bake until golden brown (about 15 to 20 minutes). Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. When they are cool enough to handle, dust them with confectioners’ sugar mixture and sprinkle with pistachios. Arrange the pastries in a pyramid on a serving platter and serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator in a covered glass container.

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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!