Pistachio Melbas

SarahSarah Armstrong

Great with tea or coffee. I cut mine about 3-4 to an inch and they turn out a bit chewy, which I prefer.

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About 3 dozen

About 3 dozen
About 3 dozen


  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (about 1 tablespoon, packed)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 teaspoons, packed)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole raw peeled pistachios
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  • 1

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Brush a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with butter and dust it with flour.

  • 2

    Whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl.

  • 3

    In another medium bowl, rub the citrus zests into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is fragrant and takes on a bit of the fruit color. Beat the eggs into the sugar with a wooden spoon until blended. Stir in the flour mixture to make a smooth, sticky but pourable batter. Stir in the pistachios. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface lightly with a spatula.

  • 4

    Bake until the loaf is lightly browned and pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 40 to 45 minutes. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean, and the loaf will look like a not so great pound cake. Let stand for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on a rack for 1 hour.

  • 5

    Wrap the loaf in plastic and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

  • 6

    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

  • 7

    Slice the chilled loaf as thin as you can — 6 to 8 slices to the inch. (It helps to mark the loaf lightly with a serrated knife every half-inch and use that as a guide.) Lay the slices flat on 2 baking sheets and bake until brown, 10 to 15 minutes. (Take care — the cookies can go from pale to dark brown quickly.)

  • 8

    Let stand overnight or for at least 12 hours on a rack to cool and crisp up. Serve. Store in a well-sealed jar or other container.

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