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Homemade Nougat

The holiday season pretty much prevented me from finding time to blog. Too much wrapping and shopping and cleaning to do. But rest assure, I continued to cook as much as I could (though I’ll admit, we ate a rotisserie chicken all last week). The December issue of Bon Appetit was filled with wonderful cookie recipes, including one for homemade nougat. 

As a child, we use to eat nougat from the North End. It was absolutely divine. Little did I know, it was entirely possible to duplicate this in my own kitchen.

Original recipe here.

Here’s what you need –

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup of unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 1 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 egg white, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of dried bing cherries, roughly chopped
  • Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 325F. Arrange the pistachios evenly on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes, stirring once. Let cool and roughly chop.

Meanwhile, cut pieces of parchment paper to fit an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch glass baking dish. Line the dish with saranwrap so that you have 3 inches overhanging on each side. Spray the dish with cooking spray. Place one piece of parchment paper in the bottom. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine 2 Tbsp water and the sugar and honey. Heat on medium-high and stir until sugar has dissolved. Fashion a candy thermometer to the side and boil until it reached 253 (mine was at 255 and it still worked). Remove from the heat.

In a standing mixer, whip the egg white and salt together until soft peaks form. With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the honey sugar syrup and continue to beat for 10 minutes until the mixture has tripled in volume and cooled off slightly.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in pistachios and cherries. Pour contents into the prepared baking dish. I found it to be incredibly stiff, and it was easier to spread with my fingers than with a spatula (hello, stickage). Spray the final piece of parchment paper and place spray side down on the nougat. Use an offset spatula to smooth.

Let nougat set for at least two hours. Use the saranwrap to pull the nougat up. Cut in 1/2 – 1 inch pieces.

Store in an airtight container for one week.

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