Pistachio Financiers

Have you missed me?  I’ve been otherwise occupied with a trip to Asia and a move.  We’ve sold our home and are downsizing.  Lots going on.  But let’s get to something good.

First stop in Paris is always Ladurée – for the macarons, of course.  But they have something else that I always buy for myself.

Financiers are French tea cakes.  With one bite, you’ll experience the profound taste of butter and toasted almonds.  Dorie Greenspan in her book Paris Sweets tells us that Financiers were first made in the late 19th century by a pastry chef whose shop was close to the Paris Stock Exchange.  The location of his shop must have influenced him as originally Financiers were baked in rectangular molds that were said to resemble bars of gold.  Today you’ll find them in a variety of shapes, even mini muffin pans.

Several years ago, after a visit to Paris and several stops for Financiers, I decided to buy the mold.  They aren’t easy to find here in the states, but Google finally helped me out and I ordered a terrific silicone mold that turns our perfect little golden bars.  But don’t pass these up because you don’t have the original molds.  Small tartlet tins work well and are readily available.

Some weeks ago, my friend Stacy posted her recipe for Financiers.  Got me thinking about how long it had been since I’d had any.  So when I was asked to bring something sweet to “pick up” after a dinner, these filled the bill.

Pistachio Financiers

Adapted from a recipe by Patricia Wells

Yield:  About 21 cakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for buttering financier molds

1 cup finely ground almonds

7.4 ounces confectioner’s sugar (about 1 2/3 cups, if you don’t have a scale)

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 pinch salt

¾ cup egg whites, at room temperature

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

21 whole pistachio nuts

Preheat the oven to 450°.  With a pastry brush, use the 2 tablespoons melted butter to thoroughly butter the financier molds.  Arrange them side by side, but not touching, on a baking sheet.  Place the baking sheet with the buttered molds in the freezer to resolidify the butter and make the financiers easier to unmold.

In a large bowl, combine the almonds, sugar, flour, and salt.  Mix to blend.  Add the egg whites and mix until thoroughly blended.  Add the ¾ cup butter and mix until thoroughly blended.  The mixture will be fairly thin and pourable.  Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them almost to the rim.  Top each with one of the pistachio nuts.   Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven.  Bake until the financiers just begin to rise, about 7 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 400°.  Bake until the financiers are a light, delicate brown and begin to firm up, about another 7 minutes.  Turn off the oven heat and let the financiers rest in the oven until firm, about another 7 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the financiers cool in the molds for 10 minutes.  Unmold.  The financiers may be stored in an airtight container for several days.


NUTS U.S. – California Pistachios

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