Leite’s loves the Pistachio Factory’s pistachio butter and not just because it cuts down on the time you waste shelling those little beauties. It’s also a perfect addition to all your baking and, even better, all your frosting needs.

A black and green jar of The Pistachio Factory's pistachio butter.

I am a devoted aficionado of the Pistacia vera, otherwise known as the common pistachio. Oh, the irony. There’s little common about this mighty nut. First, there’s its delightful color–chartreuse, CHARTREUSE!–so different from all those bland beige nuts. Then, of course, there’s its sweet, slightly vegetal flavor I can’t get enough of. I eat handfuls–and I do mean handfuls–of pistachios at a time. I think the good Lord above knew what s/he was doing when s/he put these little suckers in shells; it’s the only thing that slows me down.

A slice of 2 layer white chocolate whisper cake with pistachio frosting and filling, on a white plate beside a cake stand containing the rest of the cake.

Yes, yes, I know I can buy unshelled pistachios. I do, or rather “did,” when it came to making my pistachio buttercream. It was a laborious affair. First, I’d blanch them in boiling water to loosen their skins. Next, I’d rub them vigorously in a dish towel to remove as much of the skin as possible. Then, I’d have to sit there, at our red Formica kitchen table, inspecting nut after freaking nut to make sure each was impeccably clean. Last, I roasted them a bit in the oven to dry them out.

I guess you could call me a martyr because I refused to use those sexy Sicilian pistachio pastes. I felt if the making of my buttercream wasn’t akin to one of the 12 Labors of Hercules, it wasn’t worthy.

Oh, how age changes things. These days, I want fast, easy, and, when possible, made in America.

Use the promo code LCNUTS when ordering and receive a 15% discount.

I stumbled upon The Pistachio Factory late one night while I was swiping, bleary-eyed, through TikTok.  Some tatted sourdough-bread goddess was slathering a thick layer of pistachio butter on a warm slice of her latest loaf. I did a double-take. Pistachio butter? There was such a thing as pistachio butter? So why didn’t I get the memo?

Although it was already 2 or 3 in the morning, I went wriggling further down the rabbit hole that is TikTok. I found people dunking fruit into pistachio butter, making pistachio-butter-and-banana toasted sandwiches, schmearing it on bagels with cream cheese. One thing I didn’t find was people making anything sweet with it.

Then I recalled my neglected and much-cursed-at pistachio frosting. At my advanced age, I wondered if I could dispatch an entire day’s worth of work and whip up bowls of fluffy sunny-green buttercream in the time it used to take me to shell a few cups of nuts.

Several days later my jar of roasted and salted pistachio butter arrived, along with a bag of the most exquisite pistachio flour. (Move over almond flour–you’ve got serious competition.)

As you can see from the video above, the result has an ethereal texture, is delicately colored, and is so lappable, it might not even make it to a cake ever again.

Of course, that’s just conjecture. I would never, well, eat a whole bowl of buttercream…

Roasted + Sea Salted Pistachio Butter, $12.74 (with promo code) at The Pistachio Factory

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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