Quite often when I buy or am given an expensive or more unusual ingredient, I have a tendency to save it up for a special occasion. I’m sure lots of people are the same, fearing they’ll waste it on a culinary mishap, leaving things to gather dust in the back of the cupboards (or in my case, the top half of a chest of drawers that has become my spillover…). My partner brought me a jar of pistachio paste back from Sicily last summer and it’s met a similar fate. I’d been saving it for something a little more elaborate or adventurous, that might make for a celebratory meal. Almost a year later, the best-before date is fast approaching.
Normally use-by and best-before dates don’t really faze me — if it looks fine and smells fine and tastes fine, it almost certainly won’t do me any harm. Unfortunately, nuts do go rancid and it would definitely be a waste to not even have a taste! I’m told it’s ideal for filling tarts or simply spreading on bread. Driven mostly by necessity, I followed the label’s advice made a sort of pistachio frangipane tart. Of course, it could be done with any sort of ground nuts if no-one’s willing to fetch pistachio paste for you from Italy!
Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C for a fan oven). Beat together the pistachio paste, sugar and eggs until smooth. Pour the batter into the pastry shell and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until set and beginning to brown on top. Leave to cool before topping with icing and chopped nuts. Serves 8.