This rich, nutty syrup can be substituted in recipes calling for traditional almond-based orgeat.
Make Ahead: The pistachio orgeat can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Where to Buy: We found gum arabic and xanthan gum at Bazaar Spices in Union Market; they are also available at organic food stores and can be ordered online. This recipe calls for a nut-milk bag, which is available at Sur La Table stores, at Strosnider's and online.
Yield: Makes 3 cups
- 3 cups filtered water
- 7 ounces shelled, raw unsalted pistachios
- 1/3 teaspoon gum arabic (see headnote)
- Pinch xanthan gum (see headnote)
- 14 ounces sugar (a scant 2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles at the edges.
Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a skillet on the stove top over medium-low heat until they are fragrant, shaking the pan as needed to prevent scorching.
Carefully combine the hot water and the nuts in a blender. Remove the center knob in the blender lid so steam can escape; place a paper towel over the opening. Puree on HIGH for 1 minute to form a sort of mash. Let cool.
Pour the mash into a nut-milk bag; holding it over a bowl, squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible; the yield is about 2 cups. Discard the solids or reserve for another use (such as a thickener for Indian curries).
Rinse out the blender. Add the strained liquid and the gum arabic and xanthan gum, then puree on HIGH for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and salt; puree on HIGH for 1 minute. Transfer to an airtight container; refrigerate before serving until well chilled (up to 2 weeks).
Adapted from Lukas Smith of Dram & Grain in the District.
Tested by M. Carrie Allan.
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