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Tag Archives | pistachio

Turkish Shortbread Cookies with Pistachio – Fistikli Un Kurabiyesi

Turkish shortbread cookies with pistachio, Fistikli Un Kurabiyesi

This delicious, crumbly shortbread cookies, un kurabiyesi, is a national favouite; my mother would make them for her afternoon tea gatherings, bayrams and special occasions when I was a child. You will find them in our pastanes, patisseries in plain, with almond or sometimes with dried fruits in Turkey. They are delicious, enjoyed with Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi and tea, cay.

I added coarsely ground (or very finely chopped) pistachios to mine – it is nice to feel the texture and enjoy the taste of pistachios, so take care not to ground them too finely. Turkish pistachios, as referred as green emeralds are packed with flavour and we use nuts liberally in our desserts and sweet treats. They add a delicious, fragrant nutty taste. You can use ground almonds or hazelnuts instead of pistachio too. These fistikli un kurabiyesi is a great hit with my family and friends; I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Turkish Shortbread Cookies with Pistachio – Fistikli Un Kurabiyesi
 
This delicious, crumbly shortbread cookies, un kurabiyesi, is a national favouite; my mother would make them for her afternoon tea gatherings, bayrams and special occasions when I was a child. You will find them in our pastanes, patisseries in plain, with almond or sometimes with dried fruits in Turkey. They are delicious, enjoyed with Turkish coffee and tea.
Author:
Recipe type: Shortbread Cookies - Un Kurabiyesi
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 18 cookies
Ingredients
  • 300g/10 ¼ oz plain all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 110g/4oz icing sugar, sifted
  • 90g/3 ¼ oz shelled pistachios, coarsely ground or very finely chopped
  • 250g/9oz unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 5ml/1tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Extra icing sugar for dusting
  • Sprinkle of extra coarsely ground pistachio for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Coarsely ground the pistachios, with a few pulses in a food processor; take care not to ground too finely, as it’s lovely to feel the texture and enjoy the taste of pistachios.
  3. Sift the flour into a large bowl and set aside. Sift the icing sugar in a separate bowl too.
  4. Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and coarsely slice. Beat using a mixer for 2 – 3 minutes, until smooth and light. Stir in the icing sugar and beat for another 2 minutes, until well combined.
  5. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes, making sure all combined well.
  6. Stir in the coarsely ground pistachio to the mix, beat another minute or two, until all combined and turned into a crumbly dough.
  7. Using your hands, gently combine and turn the mixture into a dough ball. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge for 10 minutes. This helps shaping and forming the shortbread cookie balls.
  8. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  9. Take the dough out of the fridge and pull off walnut sized pieces of dough and gently shape into balls, rolling the dough into round shape with your hands. Each dough ball will be about 3cm / 1.2in in diameter. Place the dough balls on the baking tray, with about 5cm/2in between each dough ball. You will make about 18 dough balls.
  10. Bake the Turkish shortbread cookies, un kurabiyes, in the preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes, they will be pale golden; try not to overbake, so that they can retain their crumbly texture.
  11. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool completely. Once cool, sift icing sugar over them and sprinkle a little ground pistachio over when serving. They are delicious aside tea and Turkish coffee. They can be stored in a container with a lid for a good 5-6 days.
  12. Afiyet Olsun.
 

Hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table in the USA- with reduced shipping rates!-

We are delighted to share that we now have significantly reduced shipping rates to the USA (approximately 14 USD), for the hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table, you can order via GB Publishing, at this link.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table and the apron also available at this link.

Our best wishes and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Comforting Sahlep Drink with Cinnamon and Pistachio Nuts

 

Sahlep drink with cinnamon and ground pistachios.

Sahlep drink with cinnamon and ground pistachios.

Sahlep is a deliciously comforting hot milky drink, very popular in Turkey during the winter months. The genuine sahlep flour is made from the tubers of the orchid genius Orchis, found in the province of Kahramanmaraş in the south of Turkey, as well as in the Black Sea provinces especially in Kastamonu. The pure sahlep powder is very expensive and as this very precious wild orchid is in decline, the exportation of the genuine sahlep has been banned. The sahlep powder also has a lot of health benefits such as  curing digestive problems and gum disease as well as increasing resistance against coughs and colds.

I love the comforting, delicious taste of Sahlep in winter months. It’s great if you can enjoy the genuine sahlep in Turkey (I love it at the wonderful Sutis Pastaneleri –patisserie- in Istanbul or at Yavuz Bey Kurukahveci in Kadikoy, Istanbul as dear fellow blogger Claudia from A Seasonal Cook in Turkey experienced). Even if you may not be able to get genuine article if you’re living abroad like I do, some of the good quality sahlep flavored sachets sold abroad is still quite satisfactory and for me provide a great a dose of home & comfort. You can get a good quality sahlep flavored powder in sachets at Turkish and Middle Eastern Markets (like the Turkish market in North Cheam, England), as well as at Turkish online stores like Best Turkish Food.

Turkish sahlep drink with cinnamon

Turkish sahlep drink with cinnamon

Sahlep also used to be a popular street food in Turkey, though I don’t see them around as much as I used to. Here is a video of a Sahlep street stall holder in Turkey, kindly shared by Jim Clayter.

Here comes an easy recipe for the delicious Sahlep drink; we like to serve with some ground cinnamon over the top traditionally. This time, I also added some ground pistachio nuts over before serving, it added a lovely texture & taste to my Sahlep.

I hope you enjoy the new, improved look of Ozlem’s Turkish Table; you can now view my blog fully on smart phones and tablets. I am also delighted to add a new recipe format, that I hope will allow you to print the recipes easily and that it would add to your enjoyment – Afiyet Olsun!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Comforting Sahlep Drink with Cinnamon and Pistachio Nuts
 
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish Drinks
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 16 fl. oz./ 2 cups of cold whole milk
  • 10ml/ 1 tbsp. Sahlep powder
  • Sugar to your taste
  • 5ml / 1 tsp. ground cinnamon for garnish
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp. ground pistachios for garnish – optional
Instructions
  1. Place the cold milk, sahlep powder and sugar in a small pan and bring to a gentle boil.
  2. Stir continuously for 2-3 over gentle heat, until it starts to thicken.
  3. Turn the heat off and pour the hot drink into two cups.
  4. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon and crushed pistachios (if using) over the top and serve immediately.

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Turkish Quince Dessert; Ayva Tatlisi

Turkish Quince Dessert, Ayva Tatlisi

Turkish Quince Dessert, Ayva Tatlisi

Quince, ayva as in Turkish, is a seasonal fruit, best enjoyed from October to early January and it is plentiful in Turkey. It is a rare treat to get in England, so you can imagine my excitement seeing them at the Turkish Market in Cheam, in Southeast England. I got my quinces and my heart was set to make the much loved, delicious Turkish quince dessert, Ayva Tatlisi.

Delicious, ripe quinces at the Turkish market in Cheam, England - a delightful sight!

Delicious, ripe quinces at the Turkish market in Cheam, England – a delightful sight!

Quince comes from the same family as apples and pears, and has a deliciously fragrant, rosy smell. There are also many health benefits of quince; it is packed with fiber, potassium and antioxidants. Quince is delicious when it’s ripe and you can enjoy eating raw, though it can also be quite tough to tackle. The hard, tangy and pale quince becomes soft, fragrant in a beautiful dark rosy pink color when it is cooked; quite a transformation for this humble fruit. Quince dessert, Ayva Tatlisi, is very popular in Turkey enjoyed in winter time, and it is divine, when cooked properly. You may notice some of the quince desserts come up in very deep, almost artificial red color, and I am afraid that case some artificial coloring may have been added to achieve this, to save up on the cooking time.

One of the elements that give this quince dessert its gorgeous color and fragrant taste is the slow, gentle cooking. I cooked mine for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, and the transformation in the color and texture was amazing. Make sure to keep the seeds in the pan when you’re cooking the quinces; they help bringing out that gorgeous deep rosy pink/amber color. I also keep the peeled skin of quince in the pan; they all together bring a fragrant smell, beautiful color and thicken the syrup as the seeds contain pectin, a natural thickener.

Pouched quince dessert in syrup, cloves and cinnamon, Ayva Tatlisi

Pouched quince dessert in syrup, cloves and cinnamon, Ayva Tatlisi

I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious quince dessert, Ayva Tatlisi; it simply melts in the mouth. You can prepare ahead of time and it keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days. I love the fruity desserts in Turkish cuisine; they are fragrant and packed with flavor, also included in my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, Signed copies are  available to order at this link,  and now 25 % Offdelivered worldwide, including USA. We also have this new Ozlem’s Turkish Table apron, with an embroidery of my home town Antakya’s daphne leaves in the design; it can make a lovely gift to a foodie, you can order at this link.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes                  Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes (or a little more, depending on the size of the quince)

2 medium size quinces

150gr/ ¾ cup sugar (or 20 – 30 gr more, if you prefer sweeter)

6 cloves

16oz./2 cups water

30ml/2 tbsp. juice of lemon

30ml/ 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Turkish thick cream, Kaymak, or clotted cream to serve

Crushed pistachio nuts or walnuts to serve

Wash and cut the quinces in half, from top to bottom. Scoop out the core and keep the seeds, save the seeds aside. Peel the skin of the quince halves and set them aside too. Rub the peeled quince halves with the lemon juice; that will help quince not to go dark in color.

Spread the sugar evenly over the quince halves

Spread the sugar evenly over the quince halves

Spread the peels of quince as a layer in a heavy pan, wide enough to have 4 quince halves in one layer. Place the quince halves on top, in a way that the hollow side faces upwards. Spread the sugar evenly over the halves and stir in the reserved quince seeds, cloves and the water.

The quinces will start turning to a rosy, darkish pink color and the syrup will start to thicken.

The quinces will start turning to a rosy, amber color and the syrup will thicken.

Bring the pan to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer gently for about 40 minutes. Check the quinces and flip the halves gently to the other side. The quinces will start turning to a rosy, darkish pink color and the syrup will start to thicken and caramelized. Stir in the ground cinnamon, cover and cook on low heat for another 40 minutes or until the fruit is cooked (you may need a little more or less cooking time depending on the size of the quince), turn the heat off. You will now get a richer dark rosy pink color and some caramelisation.

Leave the cooked quinces cool in the pan. The syrup will thicken even more and the color will go darker, thanks to the seeds acting as a natural thickener. Once cool, place the quince halves on a serving plate, with a dollop of clotted cream or even better, Turkish kaymak, the thick cream of the water buffalos over the top. You can sprinkle some crushed pistachio or walnuts over and serve.

Turkish Quince Dessert, Ayva Tatlisi

Turkish Quince Dessert, Ayva Tatlisi

This delicious quince dessert keeps well in the fridge for a good 3 days.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute on 19th February; Registration Started!

Dried peppers, aubergine and okra; important features of Southern Turkish Cuisine

Dried peppers, aubergine and okra; important features of Southern Turkish Cuisine

My Turkish cookery class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute is now open for registration. Please contact Istanbul Culinary Institute for registration, if you’d like to join us. We will be talking about and showcasing the artful use of spices and prepare these delicious recipes, focusing on Southern Turkish cuisine. Participation is limited; hope to share a delicious Turkish bite together!

 

 

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