Pistachio and Poppy Seed Financiers

Remember all of two posts ago when I was complaining about the oven, and the heat, and how turning the oven on in the heat would be somewhere close to certifiable? Well, I turned the oven on in the summer. It wasn’t so terrible. Though I did this baking at about 9am, which means the sun was not its warmest, and it was just a cool 90 degrees out.

Yes, thats right. I said 90 degrees.

The recipe has been on my to-do list since I saw an excerpt of the Martha Stewart show where these financiers were made. The recipe comes from Bea over at La Tartine Gourmande. The combination of pistachio and poppy seed intrigued me, and I was excited to infuse butter with fresh spices. And excited to use the poppy seeds I recently acquired from Penzey’s Spice. I suppose you could some up my mood as excited in general.

I first read about financiers in Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City’s Best Pastry Shops.   Traditionally made with ground almonds, this pistachio riff is given an intriguing green color by the flavorful nut. I used a muffin tin, as I don’t have the traditional rectangular pan these cakes are baked in. I found the muffin wrappers at Sur La Table, and thought their Parisian flare suitable for Parisian cake within them.

Pistachio and Poppy Seed Financiers

adapted from La Tartine Gourmande

  • 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted green pistachios
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds carefully scraped out
  • 3 to 4 cardamom pods
  • 1/3 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 4 large egg whites, beaten until foamy

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a standard muffin tim with 8 paper liners. You can also use a mini-muffin tin, which will yield about 24 muffins.

Grind the pistachios with a (cleaned out!) coffee or spice grinder, if you’re lucky enough to have a separate grinder.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted and golden brown in color. Watch carefully, because it’s very ease to burn the butter at this stage. Remove the pan from the heat, adding the vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and cardamom pods to the warm butter. This will infuse the butter, and the air near the pan, with a wonderful vanilla and cardamom aroma. Allow butter to infuse for 10 minutes, then strain through a mesh sieve. I dabbed my vanilla bean with a paper towel and reused it by letting it sit with strawberries and sugar.

In a mixing bowl, combine ground pistachios, flour, sugar, poppy seeds, and salt. Beat the egg whites until slightly foamy, then add the egg whites to the pistachio mixture. Quickly stir in the in the vanilla-infused melted butter.

Divide evenly amongst the muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then garnish with either confectioners sugar, ground pistachios, or a sprinkle of coarse sugar, such as turbinado.

Watch the video of Bea on the Martha Stewart show making these delicious treats.

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