Pistachio shortbread recipe from our French chef

This homemade pistachio shortbread comes from the professional kitchen of our hosts Freya and Chef Maynard who run fabulous French cookery holidays at their gourmet cookery school in the heart of the Loire Valley, so there’s no better place to find a delicious recipe.

Crumbly and seriously buttery, it’s not one for those on a health kick but certainly a great accompaniment to a lovely hot cup of tea, curled up on the sofa.

They’re seriously moreish so beware – you have been warned!

Makes about 30


250g plain flour
250g butter
125g cornflour
125g icing sugar
caster sugar to sprinkle
200g pistachio nuts
1/2 tbs water


1. Lightly whiz the pistachios in a food processor until they are small chunks, but not too fine.

ingredients for pistachio shortbread

2. Chop the butter into cubes, then put the butter, icing sugar, flour & cornflour into a food processor. Blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the water & pistachios and knead it slightly until the mixture holds together.

wrapping pistachio shortbread mixture in cling film

4. Divide the mixture into two equal portions and roll into a sausage shape on a cold flat surface – a marble slab is ideal.

tying ends of pistachio shortbread in cling film

 5. Take a large sheet of cling film and place the sausage shape on the edge and roll tightly and twist the two ends tightly until a perfect cylindrical shape is achieved.

cutting pistachio shortbread mixture into biscuits

6. Peel the cling film back and slice into 5 mm pieces. Place on a baking tray and cook at 150°C for around 10 minutes, or when the shortbread is just starting to colour.

pistachio shortbread biscuits on oven tray

7. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes to cool, sprinkle lightly with caster sugar, then transfer to a wire rack.

Serving suggestions

Pistachio shortbread from French cookery school and chef

The end result – delicious!

These are a lovely light biscuit, perfect for any tea break, and ideal after dinner with coffee. They can also be used to accompany other desserts such as ice cream or sorbet.

They also last—once you have wrapped the shortbread mix in cling film it can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Then, when you want to cook some fresh shortbread, it can simply be made to order!

Alternatively, it can be frozen to last longer so you can keep it on hand for an emergency dessert craving ;-)

Once you’ve had a go at this recipe, why not join them for a gourmet cookery holiday in France? Set in the Loire Valley, it’s a wonderful place to sample gourmet cuisine and try your hand at even more impressive dishes.

If you enjoyed making these biscuits, why not try Chef Maynard’s homemade doughnuts recipe for a truly indulgent treat.