• Cocoa cannoli with ricotta (cannoli al cacao con ricotta). (Paola Bacchia)Source: Paola Bacchia
From cannoli to crunchy golden pastries, these are some of our favourite pistachio+pastry recipes.
27 Aug 2021 - 3:47 PM  UPDATED 27 Aug 2021 - 4:36 PM

--- The Cook Up with Adam Liaw airs weeknights on SBS Food at 7.00pm and 10.00pm, or stream it free on SBS On Demand. Catch the pistachio episode - which features a delicious Turkish pastry - Friday 27 August. ---


For fans of pistachios, the combination of nuts, golden pastry and sticky syrup in a pistachio baklava (like this recipe from Somer Sivrioglu of Sydney's Efendy restaurant) is especially divine. But don't stop there! Happily, there are plenty more delicious creations where pistachio meets pastry. 

Rhubarb, orange and pistachio pie

When rhubarb is in season, sieze the day and make this wonderful pie, which has finely ground pistachios as part of the frangipane used in the filling. 


Knafeh (also called künefe) is a beautiful Middle Eastern dessert made with stringy kataifi pastry and filled with cheese. In this recipe, Joey El-Issa uses a mixture of firm ricotta and shredded mozzarella, layered between rounds of kataifi pastry. Sugar syrup is poured over the top after baking. 

Sweet pistachio pastries (tel kadayıf)

"This dessert is made in the same way as künefe, but with ground nuts inside rather than cheese. I like to scatter freshly ground pistachios over the top as I love the contrast between the roasty flavours of the nuts in the middle, and the bright green nuts on top," says Rebecca Seal of this Turkish pastry. Ground pistachios are layered between butter-tossed kadayif pastry; after cooking sugar syrup is poured over the tray of hot pastry, creating a sweet delight that can be eaten on its own or served with thick cream or ice-cream for dessert. 


Cocoa cannoli with ricotta

Crushed pistachios are the crowning touch on these cannoli al cacao con ricotta. This version of the much-loved Italian sweet adds cinnamon, cocoa and coffee to the pastry.

Cocoa cannoli with ricotta (cannoli al cacao con ricotta).

Pistachio pancakes with clotted cream (katmer)

This particularly delicious intersection of pastry and pancake hails from Anatolia in Turkey. While the pastry is traditionally made by hand, this version, from the book Anatolia by Somer Sivrioglu and David Dale, uses filo pastry for a quick but just as indulgent take. 

Pistachio pancakes with clotted cream

Özge Kalvo's katmer with handmade pastry

If you watch Özge Kalvo stretch out her homemade pastry in The Cook Up with Adam Liaw and get inspired to try it yourself, good news: she's shared her recipe. The filling is sugar, pistachios and clotted cream, although you can use double thick cream or clotted cream instead. 

Baklava clusters

Filo pastry, pistachios, walnuts, sesame seeds and mixed sweet spice come together in these golden clusters. Eat them as a snack, or with yoghurt and fruit for breakfast. 

Fig, walnut and pistachio crostata

From the Middle East, we now travel to Italy, for this nutty pastry. Walnuts in the pastry and toasted pistachios in the fresh fig filling create an easy tart that's delicious with a dollop of cream. 

Get more sweet ideas in the pistachio recipe collection

One is nut enough
Pistachio and walnut baklava

Rich, sweet, crisp, nutty - the ancient sweet ticks so many dessert boxes. 

Kanafeh with apple tea

Whether you call it knefe, kanafeh, knafe, or "that Middle Eastern cheese sweet"...this dessert is bringing in the cheesy goods. The Chefs' Line

White chocolate baklawa crackles

Middle Eastern and Australian flavours take you back to your childhood thanks to this fancy choc crackle. It almost feels mandatory to host a birthday party, now! #BringBackTheClassics

Sweet pastry fingers with ashta cream (znoud el sett)

These crisp golden pastries are filled with ashta cream – a clever Lebanese unsweetened faux clotted cream – and then drenched with a fragrant syrup. Znoud el sett translates to ‘upper arms of the lady’ apparently referring to the similarities of the shape, look and texture to a particular Lebanese lady that they were originally named after – I’m not sure if that was intended as a complement!

Antep-style pistachio baklava

Antep-style pistachio baklava is named after the city of Gaziantep in southeast Turkey for which this classic sweet pastry is renowned. "Normally at the restaurant we make our own filo" says Somer Sivrioglu. "It’s so thin that you could read a newspaper placed under it. This is a more practical recipe, particularly fun to do with children".