Gluten-Free Pistachio Madeleines
There’s a bevy of Spring 2017 cookbooks scattered across my dining room table. Each one more inspiring than the next. Honestly, are you a cookbook collector? Have you seen what’s out in the world these last few months? There’s some goodness.
One of my favorite among them is Tartine All Day from Elisabeth Prueitt of my favorite bakery in the country, Tartine, in San Francisco. If you’re wondering, San Francisco gets all the good stuff. Tartine among them.
What’s interesting about Tartine All Day is that a majority of the recipes are gluten-sensitive because Preuitt is gluten-sensitive herself. Her baked goods in this book are all made with gluten-free flours and really, they’re approachable and refined for the home, and filled with Cali-vibes.
It’s great. Let’s make these nutty, fragrant, cakey cookies, ok?
Another pistachio thing I really want you to know about: Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts.
also a very long time ago I made Homemade Pistachio Pudding that was really just a delight.
Here’s what you’ll need:
• egg whites. We’ll whip these to lighten and lift the cookies.
• a combination of gluten-free flours and sugars: powdered sugar, finely ground pistachios (making pistachio flour!), oat flour, brown rice flour, and tapioca starch. As a gluten-full baker, I don’t know the exact science of how all of these flours work, but I do know that the delicately nutty flavor and the tender but sturdy texture is just right!
If you’re wondering what to do with your newly acquired gluten-free flours, might I suggest this VERY GOOD gluten-free fried chicken.
• melted butter for lusciousness.
• almond extract, to deepen the flavor and surprise us.
• a sweet little madeleine pan, very well greased and chilled
Start by fluffing together all of the dry ingredients.
The powdered sugar, brown rice flour, and tapioca starch. A bit of salt.
The pistachio flour and oat flour I made by supremely pulverizing (separately, of course) pistachios and old-fashioned oats in an old coffee grinder that I’ve now dubbed my spice grinder. Does the trick like a dream!
Egg whites are whipped in a stand mixer (or with a pair of electric hand beaters) along with the almond extract and the salt until opaque and just beginning to hold their peaks.
Now let’s get it all together!
The flours are folded into the egg whites along with the butter. The batter will maintain some of it’s fluffiness from the egg whites, but now needs a good chill in the refrigerator for the flours to soften and hydrate. These cookies get cooked from cold.
Chill batter in the refrigerator for 1 hours or in the freezer for 15 minutes (if you’re in a super hurry). Chilled though. Don’t think you can go rogue on this step.
One other trick to making these cookies pleasing plums is to chill the madeleine pan (greased and all!) in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before adding the batter. A cold pan will help the center of the cookies rise to plump.
The best bakers know. Dang.
Rap out of the warm baking pan just as soon as they’re done baking, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar (because that’s how I like everything), and enjoy slightly warm with very dark coffee.
I find that these cookies are best enjoyed within two days of baking. They feel fancy. They’re nutty, sweet, and make you think of the forest in summertime. That last sentence is exactly why I’m not a sommelier. Happy Baking and enjoy!
Photos by Jon Melendez.
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, plus more for topping
- 1/3 cup pistachio flour made by very finely grinding shelled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons white or brown rice flour
- 1 tablespoon oat flour
- 1 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine egg whites, almond extract, and salt. Whip on medium speed until the egg whites just pass the frothy stage and start to become opaque. Stop the mixer just before the egg whites start to hold soft peaks. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, pistachio flour, rice flour, oat flour, and tapioca starch. Add the dry mixture all at once to the beaten egg whites and fold three or four times.
- Add the butter to the flour and egg white mixture and whisk well (using a hand whisk) to completely combine. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour or up to five days.
- (Tartine All Day notes that you can also chill this batter in the freezer for 15 minutes, stirring a few times to ensure that the batter chills evenly. The batter can also be frozen in an airtight container for months and thawed before using.)
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- While the batter is chilling, generously brush a madeleine pan with melted butter and dust generously with tapioca flour. Make sure that all the nooks and crevices are coated in fat and flour to ensure that the cookies come out of the pan once baked. Place the greased mold in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes.
- Once the batter and the pan are chilled, spoon the batter into the pan, dividing evenly among the wells. No need to press the batter down and it will loosen and fill the mold once in the oven.
- Bake until the madeleines are puffed in the center and golden brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately turn the madeleines onto a wire rack, dust with powdered sugar and allow to cool to warm or room temperature before enjoying. Store overnight in an airtight container at room temperature but try to enjoy them as fresh as you can.