Making pistachio paste
I'm trying to decide on what recipe to follow for a pistachio paste for a pear and grapefruit tart I'm making. The two recipes that come up most here and by googling are:
The basic distinction between the two seems that one makes a sugar syrup to sweeten, and the other just mixes in water and sugar without going to the trouble of making a syrup. Can anyone tell me if there's a big difference in taste or texture by making the syrup or not?
And, has anyone used egg in making pistachio paste? I wonder if egg would make the paste puff up a bit when it's cooked? In this tart I'm not sure I'd want that, I think the fruit would sink in too much. But maybe in something else that would ideal.
I think I would go for the second recipe because it's more straightforward and simple. I have made a similar paste a couple of times for the purpose of making pistachio ice cream, and I have basically done it by simply processing pistachios in the food processor until fine (make sure to scrape down the bowl a couple of times), then adding a small amount of water and powder sugar until you have a paste-like consistency.
It's a very similar process to making almond paste (or marzipan) where the secret lies in grinding the nuts fine enough - you don't want large chunks. Pistachios take on such an intense flavor when ground (if you don't have a food processor, you could also use a mortal and pestle however it will take more time and effort) that I doubt you really need to add almond extract in order to enhance the flavor.