Pistachio Macarons


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I remember the first time I made macarons just about a year ago. They cracked, were flat with no feet, and looked nothing like a macaron. Even though I didn’t expect them to come out perfect the first time, I was hoping for something more intact. I thought that following directions carefully and measuring ingredients exactly were sufficient, but I was wrong! I made them a few more times and had other issues like the macarons being too big, dry, and hollow in the middle. I was determined that with time and practice I would be able to bake a delicious and pretty macaron. I read endless blog recipes, flipped through macaron books, and also watched multiple youtube videos. There were a ton of different ways to make macarons and they all look slightly different. I tried various techniques, equipment, baking times, temperatures, you name it. It took me a few months to achieve the macaron texture and appearance that I was happy with. It’s truly rewarding to finally make beautiful macarons and share them with your family and friends!

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Pistachio macarons have always been my favorite macaron. A lot of macaron stores sell pistachio flavor but not all of them taste pistachio-yee enough. This entire macaron is made out of pistachio flour with pistachio buttercream. It is as pistachio-yeeee as you can get! I knew I had to master the classic almond macaron before exploring different nuts like pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts, etc. I must admit that this is not a quick and easy recipe. Unless you are able to get your hands on some store bought finely ground pistachios there are quite a few steps involved.  If you can’t find ground pistachios in a store or online, you have to chop up the pistachios and grind them on your own! I will show you the step by step process in this post. I promise that the hard work pays off because they taste sooo delicious! Follow my french macaron recipe and substitute almond flour with pistachio flour. The rest of the ingredients remain the same.

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Yes…we are going to use all this pistachio! There is one thing to note when grounding your own nut flour: If ground for too long, they turn into paste because of their high oil content.  When I tried to ground almond flour for the first time, I held the chop button on my food processor constantly, which was a huge mistake! I ended up with paste and could no longer use it to make macarons. The standard food processors we have at home are not the ideal machines for grinding whole nuts. However, it is possible to achieve good results by following a few helpful tips below.

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Remember I mentioned being patient when making macarons? You need slightly more patience with homemade ground pistachio flour. The trick is to pulse/chop three times and scrape the sides of the food processor before grinding them again. This will ensure that the oils do not stick to the sides and form into chunks of nut paste. We don’t want that! Pulse for about 20 times (3 pulse intervals) for every 100 grams of pistachios. You may want weigh more nuts than the recipe calls for in case you lose some weight from the grinding process. There are certain grains in all nuts that do not chop well in a food processor and also can’t be strained through the sieve. You will have to discard those grains or use them for the buttercream. For example, my French macaron recipe calls for 112g of nut flour, you may want to measure 130g of pistachios to make pistachio flour. You can always use the leftover nut flour for the buttercream so nothing will go to waste :).

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There will be some nut oil that surfaces from chopping the pistachios. This is inevitable but pausing every few pulses will decrease the amount of nut oils. Baking the nut flour will dry out the ground pistachios, making it easier to work with when straining through a sieve. Bake the ground pistachios at 200F for about 30 minutes. Let it cool completely before putting through a sieve.

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After sieving the pistachio flour and powdered sugar through a sieve, it should look as fine as the picture above. I find that mixing the powdered sugar with the pistachio flour together before putting through a sieve makes it easier. The powdered sugar absorbs some of the oils and make it easier to run through a sieve. Super fine nut flour gives the macaron shells a nice and smooth finish. Coarse flour on the other hand results in bumpy and uneven macaron shells. If you find yourself not having enough pistachio flour after the sieving process, you can use some almond flour instead.  As long as the majority of the flour is from pistachios, you will likely not taste the difference. For example you can use 90 grams of pistachio flour and 22 grams of almond flour.  That will be totally fine.

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Combine leafy green and yellow gel food coloring and add it to the egg whites to achieve a bright leafy green color. Once the egg whites are combined with pistachio and sugar, it will turn into a darker color. So don’t worry if the egg whites look super bright prior to mixing it in with the rest of the ingredients.

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Once you are finished macaroning the egg whites + flour mixture, the batter should look glossy with a darker green color. This means that it is ready for piping!

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One of the most important steps is to bang the baking sheet on your kitchen counter at least 5-6 times. This will remove the air bubbles formed during the piping process. It will also help your macarons look thinner rather and thicker and taller macarons. I am guilty of not banging the baking sheets enough a year ago and those macarons looked much taller!

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Perfect pistachio shells and delicious right out the oven!

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If you have made it this far, making pistachio buttercream is the easiest part of the process!  Follow my pistachio buttercream recipe below.

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Make your own nut flour:

1. Make sure the nuts are in room temperature and coarsely chop the nuts before grinding them. If you are following my french macaron recipe you will need 110-120 grams of pistachios without the shells.

2. Pulse/chop for 3 seconds at a time so the nuts do not get too warm and turn into paste. Scrape the sides of the food processor in between intervals of 3 pulses. Pulse about 20 times for every 100g of nuts or until nut is super fine.

3. When the nuts have turned into fine flour, lay them on a baking sheet and bake at 200F for 30 minutes. Let it cool completely.

4. Proceed with my basic french macaron recipe and substitute the almond flour with pistachio flour completely. If you are grinding your own pistachio flour, you want to measure more nuts than the recipe calls for in case you lose some weight from the grinding process.

5. It is still important to sieve the pistachio flour with the powdered sugar once it is cooled. It may be more difficult to sieve the mixture with homemade ground pistachios so if you find yourself not having 112 grams of pistachio nut flour, it is okay to make up the difference by using some almond four.

6. For color, add 3 drops of leafy green and 2 drops of yellow gel food coloring to the egg whites mixture.

Pistachio buttercream (enough for 50 macarons):

1/2 c pistachios, shelled and chopped
1 c powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 c unsalted butter, cold

1. Shell and chop the pistachios and set aside.

2. Beat powdered sugar and egg in an electric mixer using the wire attachment on high speed for about 4 minutes. The mixture should turn fluffy and increase in volume.

3. Pour the sugar and egg mixture into a sauce pan. Add chopped pistachios. Heat over low medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture turns into a thick batter about 5 minutes.

4. Remove the batter from heat and pour on a shallow pan. Cover with a plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until the batter has completely cooled.

5. Cut the cold butter into 1 inch slices and beat in an electric mixer on high with a whisk attachment for about 8 minutes. Once the butter is softened and fluffy, add the chilled batter and beat until light and fluffy about 5 minutes.

6. Refrigerate or pipe buttercream filling on the macaron shells immediately. The buttercream can be refrigerated for up to a week in an airtight container.



  1. Lizy Shirali says:

    By baking the pistachios is that isame as roasting ? All the recipes I been looking say not to use roasted pistachios. Is store bought pistachio flour ( ground pistachios only ) ok to use in this recipe ?


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