Sep 15, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017


Cassata by Elizabeth Falkner.

"Elizabeth Falkner, Chef Consultant in New York, NY, shares her Cassata recipe in the Dessert Trio column."


In's latest issue, the Dessert Trio column features three different perspectives on pistachio, from three top pastry chefs, François Payard, Michael Laiskonis and Elizabeth Falkner. Click the following to see recipes and notes by:
François Payard | Michael Laiskonis


Notes: I love the flavors of cassata, but wanted a more refreshing take and to make it a composed dessert rather than a cake. Change out the flavor of sorbet seasonally. Substitute pistachio gelato to make it even more pistachio forward!

Yield: 10 servings

Cassata Cream:

  • 1.5 lb/680 g fresh ricotta, drained
  • 6 oz/170 g granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond essence
  • 1 qt/946 ml heavy cream, whipped

Puree all but the cream in a food processor. Fold in whipped cream by hand.

Pistachio Sponge:

  • 14 oz/397 g egg whites
  • 10 oz/284 g granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 oz/85 g ground pistachios
  • 2.5 oz/71 g almond flour
  • 7.5 oz/213 g 00 flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 8 oz/227 g unsalted butter, melted

1. Whip egg whites with half of the sugar.

2. Mix the dry ingredients with the remaining sugar.

3. Fold everything together with the melted butter.

4. Bake on parchment lined pan at 325°F. for 20 minutes.

Tangerine Sorbet:

  • 2.2 lb/1 kg tangerine juice
  • 0.7 oz/20 g tangerine zest
  • 7 oz/200 g granulated sugar
  • 0.14 oz/4 g citric acid
  • 2.1 oz/60 g corn syrup or glucose
  • Pinch of salt
  • 0.05 oz/1.5 g xanthan gum

Puree all ingredients together for 2 minutes. Process in gelato machine.

Pistachio Paste:

  • 3.5 oz/100 g heavy cream
  • 8.8 oz/250 g pistachios, soaked in water for 2 hours
  • Pinch of salt

Heat the cream and pour into food processor with the soaked nuts and salt. Process until smooth.


  • Marzipan, as needed
  • Dark chocolate shavings
  • Candied citrus or fennel pieces in syrup
  • Amarena or brandied cherries

Spoon some Cassata Cream on each plate. Stud with a few pinches of marzipan. Cut up pistachio cake into desired cubes or strips or crumbles. Scatter or set on plates. Spoon a bit of the Pistachio Paste on each plate and then add a scoop of Tangerine Sorbet on top of the Cassata Cream. Finish with dark chocolate shavings over the top. Add some candied citrus or fennel pieces and syrup over the cake and add an Amarena or brandied cherry anywhere on the plate.

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