American Pie Council

2019 Amateur Entry


Pistachio Dream Pie


1 1/4 cup flour
1.5 oz salted roasted pistachios
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/16 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup cold solid shortening (Crisco)
1/4 cup ice water

In food processor, add a few tablespoons of the flour to the pistachios and process into very small pieces, add the rest of flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and blend in processor.
Add the butter, and using about 6-7 pulses, cut up the butter into pea size pieces. Add the shortening and pulse again about 6-7 times to incorporate shortening into pea size pieces.
Place mixture in large bowl. Slowly add the water, tossing with fork until dough is evenly moistened. Press dough together in a large ball using spatula to assist. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours before using.

Roll out dough to fit 9 inch pie plate and place in plate. Roll over the edges onto the lip of the plate and crimp. Refrigerate 30 min. Blind bake in 410 degree oven for about 18 min. Remove blind baking material (aluminum foil and pie weights) and bake for another 3-4 minutes until crust lightly browned. Remove and let cool to room temperature.


Pistachio paste:

1/2 c roasted salted pistachios
1/3 c sugar
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter


1 3/4 c whole milk
1/4 c heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
1/3 c sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch and pinch of salt
2 tbsp instant pistachio pudding mix
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Irish Creme liquor
2 drops green food coloring (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp unflavored gelatin dissolved in 3 tbsp water, set aside
1/2 c coarsely ground salted roasted pistachios

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To make the paste:
Place pistachios in food processor. Pulse until nuts are in small bits. Add the sugar and butter and blend until relatively smooth.

To make the pudding:

Spoon pistachio paste into a medium saucepan. Add the milk and cream and whisk over medium heat until steamy and hot (don’t let boil).

While the milk/cream is heating, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and salt. Mixture will be very thick, whisk until smooth. Pour 1/2 c of the hot pistachio milk mixture into the sugar and egg mixture, whisking quickly. Repeat with another 1/2 c of hot milk mixture and whisk briskly to incorporate. Return the milky egg mixture into the saucepan. Heat pudding mixture over medium heat until thick and bubbly, whisking constantly to avoid burning.

Take the gelatin/water mixture and heat for only 10 seconds in microwave oven until liquid. Add to the pudding mixture. Add instant pudding mix. Boil at light boil for about 1 minute or until thickened. Whisk constantly to avoid burning. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and Irish Creme and food coloring, if using, until fully mixed.
Place medium mesh strainer over medium bowl. Press pudding through strainer and discard the residual particles in the strainer. Add the chopped pistachios and mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (about 3 h).

To complete the filling:

8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temp
1/2 c powdered sugar

3/4 c heavy whipping cream
1/4 c powdered sugar

In a mixer, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Carefully add 1/2 c powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy, set aside.

In separate cold bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks, then add powdered sugar and whip to stiff peaks.

Take the pudding (set for 3 h in refrigerator) and return it to mixing bowl. Slowly beat in the cream cheese mixture until fully incorporated. Fold in the whipped cream mixture until no more streaks noticeable.

Pour into baked crust. Smooth the top and refrigerate until fully set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

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Pie decorations

3 oz semisweet chocolate pieces
1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 c heavy whipping cream
1/4 c powdered sugar
1.5 tsp unflavored gelatin dissolved in 3 tbsp water. Microwave 10 seconds to liquefy before using
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c (approx) coarsely chopped pistachios

Melt chocolate and butter over double boiler or carefully in microwave until liquid. Using piping bag or cone with small opening, pipe chocolate decoratively onto top of pie.

Whip cream until somewhat full. Take a tablespoon of the cream and add to the liquefied gelatin and mix together. Slowly add the gelatin mixture and powdered sugar and vanilla to cream and continue to whip until mildly stiff peaks form. Pipe decoratively around the edges of the pie. Lightly sprinkle the coarsely chopped pistachio nuts on top of whipped cream edge only.

Keep chilled until ready to serve. Remove from refrigerator 30 min before serving.

Submitted by:

Ronald Bronitsky