The pistachio nut grows on a small tree that originates from central Asia and is the oldest edible nut that is consumed the world over.
The trees produce the nuts in a way that one good year is followed by a poor year. Add to that the fact the nuts are harvested by hand and you begin to see why they are expensive.
My wife loves to sit and crack open the creamy white shells and finds it just as rewarding as eating the flavoursome nut.
Here I blend them into a shortbread recipe and serve the biscuits with summer strawberries and sorbet.
Ingredients for shortbread
65g ground pistachio
1. Mix the pistachio and flour together and rub in the butter.
2. Mix in the sugar and add the whisked egg.
3. Mix together to form a dough and roll to 1cm thick.
4. Put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
5. Cut, and bake for 12 minutes in preheated oven 180C gas 5.
6. Dust with sugar and allow to cool.
Ingredients for sorbet
Dessert spoon glucose
1. Heat all the ingredients together in a large sauce pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Liquidise and sieve before freezing in an ice cream machine.