This Coffee time treat is very similar to Baklava, but instead of using almonds I used Bronte Pistachio. Bronte is an Etna region where this nut grows in abundance. Like many nuts, the season for Pistachios starts in September until the end of October. The shrub is delicately described as 'the ugliest of all' by my dear friend Ciccio who owns with his brother Luciano, Agriturismo Da Marianna in the Nebroidi area of Randazzo, yet another Etna Region, famous for the 'Castrato' ... the best Lamb I ever tasted! Quantities are enough to make a 12 inch swirl.
8 Filo Sheets (normal frozen packet)
150g butter melted
400g Ground Pistachios
1 tbsp ground rice
2 tbsp mandarin liquor
3 egg whites
1 tsp grated orange rind
2 heaped tbsp honey
few whole pistachios
In a food processor, add nuts, 250g sugar, grated orange rind, rice flour, egg whites and liquor. Give few pulses until a rough paste is formed.
Brush 12inch round baking with melted butter. Pre heat oven to 180c
Open two filo sheets next to each other over a marble kitchen top. The short sides overlapping by 1 inch. Brush generously with melted butter. Place two more sheets over and brush again with melted butter. Take spoonfuls of half the pistachio mixture and carefully place along the end (closest to you) of the filo sheets. Roll the Filo sheets enclosing the mixture to form something that resembles a 1 inch thick long rope. Take one end of the 'rope' and form a swirl. Transfer immediately to the center of brushed baking dish.
Repeat the process with the remaining Filo Sheets and filling, then continue to go around the swirl snugging it tightly in the dish.
Brush top with the remaining butter then bake for approximately 30-40 minutes until lightly golden.
Meanwhile, make the stock syrup by bring to boil over medium heat water, sugar and honey. Increase heat to rapid boil for just 30 seconds and turn off heat.
When Pistachio Swirl is lightly golden, remove from oven sprinkle over few whole pistachios then pour over the syrup. Return to oven and cook further until a rich golden colour is obtained.
Leave to cool completely before serving, and you can dust with a little icing sugar to give it a dramatic look!