While making an Italian Ricotta Pie (recipe is on Key Ingredient), I decided to make candied pistachios to sprinkle on top for a sweet crunch to the dessert. I used a little fresh squeezed orange juice, sugar, water and some almond extract. The results were delicious! I'll use some of these to make a pistachio ice cream, too!
Adapted from foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com
cup orange juice (fresh squeezed)
tsp. almond extract
cup shelled pistachio (easily found at Trader Joe's if you have one near you)
Put nuts and sugar mixture in a Nut Roaster Pan (or any kind of nonstick pan and a wide paddle spoon can be used). Stir to mix. Combine almond extract, orange juice and water in a measuring cup. Add the liquid to sugar/nut mixture in the pan. Place the pan on the burner, on medium high heat. The glaze will begin to turn into a thick liquid; boil gently during the process. Stir contents slowly and continuously, to keep the glaze coating nuts at all times, until the liquid evaporates and nuts are glazed (5 - 10 minutes). When the liquid is evaporated and the handle (or paddle) becomes harder to turn (or stir), the nuts are done. Do not overcook! Remove the pan from burner. Quickly sprinkle a little water over the nuts (about 1 Tablespoon per 2 cups of nuts). The mixture will steam, so keep the hands away until the steam dissipates, to prevent burns. Stir nuts to coat even with the glaze. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, immediately spread the hot nuts on a non-stick paper (parchment paper is best) cookie sheet to cool. Gently separate the nuts with a wooden spoon. Nuts will be very hot -- do not eat until cooled (even though they smell delicious and you will find it very difficult to resist!) To store, be sure nuts are thoroughly cooled and then put in airtight containers. Refrigerate to retain freshness or freeze for future use. You can reheat in a microwave by spreading on a flat plate and heating for 2-4 minutes. Or, on a non-stick cookie sheet, heat for about 7 minutes at 250F in a conventional oven.