Winsome and delicate with an intense perfume, pistachio is having a moment, adding its pale green charm to cream puffs and croissants, lattes and cocktails. But how, I wondered, would it fare in a cheesecake, that timeless queen of rich and plush desserts? To find out, I made pistachio cheesecakes the subject of the latest episode of my YouTube show, “Shortcut vs. Showstopper,” in which, true to the title, I come up with two iterations of one recipe: a simple version that anyone could make, and a more complex, special version guaranteed to make heads spin.
Recipe: Pistachio Cheesecake
My goal was to come up with two distinct recipes that captured pistachio’s complex and elusive character, showing it off in all its toasty glory. The shortcut version needed to be easy, accessible and able to hold its own next to the showstopper, which could be as extravagant and time-consuming as it takes to perfect (as long as the results are worth it).
The strategy for the showstopper seemed obvious. I’d simply buy the freshest and finest possible pistachio nuts I could find, grind them into a paste and add that to my favorite cheesecake batter.
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