My department at work is having a potluck holiday lunch, and I've settled on making something really easy and low-effort: a pistachio pudding pie.

Instant pudding in a store-bought crust actually tastes really good to me so I'm not just being lazy here.

But I had the idea of punching it up a little bit by making a special whipped cream to top it, I'm just not sure of a flavor. I don't want anything too overpowering.

I've been looking around, and I've seen pineapple suggested as a flavor that goes well with pistachio, or rosewater which could be interesting.

In the past I've made Irish whiskey whipped cream that tasted great but I'm not sure it would work here. I am open to using liqueurs to flavor the cream.

  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about pairing of flavors
    – rumtscho
    Dec 17, 2014 at 14:04
  • Hello Briantist, and welcome to the Seasoned advice. As any other Stack Exchange site, we do not accept subjective questions, and flavor pairings are subjective. Nobody can predict what will taste good to you, and whatever you pick, there will be people who won't like it. There are books which list classic combinations, you can get them if you are interested in the topic.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 17, 2014 at 14:06
  • 2
    Ok, I can understand that logic. I did in fact check the help center before posting this, fearing it might be off-topic but in the list of on-topic examples I saw "Ingredient selection and use" and I think that is exactly what I'm asking about. I may be wrong about the intention of "Ingredient selection and use" and if so, I think the help center page on Asking should be expanded to explain what that does and doesn't mean. Thanks!
    – briantist
    Dec 17, 2014 at 23:32
  • Thank you for coming back and offering constructive feedback. I made the edit you suggested. I hope you don't mind using your pistachios as the example, I'll think of a different food if it bothers you.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 18, 2014 at 9:37
  • Not a problem; it doesn't bother me. Hopefully it helps :)
    – briantist
    Dec 18, 2014 at 15:05

2 Answers 2


I have used orange as an excellent flavor pairing with pistachio in cakes, biscottis, panna-cottas, custards, etc. I always add the zest of orange and a few drops of orange essence.

I've also tried cardamom and saffron with pistachios specially in Indian desserts and it is a very popular pairing in India. Just use a few strands of saffron and powdered cardamom seeds in a bit of warm milk before mixing in the rest of the ingredients for color, aroma and flavor.

  • Orange could work, and I do happen to have some oranges left over from something else. I like the idea of cardamom a lot; I'll have to see if I have any. Do you think adding powdered cardamom would work in a whipped cream, or would I have to strain out what's left of it before whipping?
    – briantist
    Dec 17, 2014 at 1:50
  • I was thinking citrus as well, but was thinking lemon. (possibly top the pie w/ a layer of lemon curd before the whipped cream, or mix some lemon zest in with the whipped cream)
    – Joe
    Dec 17, 2014 at 2:28
  • @briantist : if you're using a cream whipper that takes nitrous cartridges, you can typically put in commercially ground spices ... do not use home ground spices, as the size may be large enough to block the nozzle up. You really don't want to have to follow this advice if you can help it. For manual whipping, I don't know if it'd be better to infuse the cream, chill, then whip; mix the spice in before whipping; or mix the spice after (or partially through whipping). You might want to ask this as a separate question so it gets more visibility.
    – Joe
    Dec 17, 2014 at 2:35
  • I have just finished making cardamom vanilla whipped cream. I used a teaspoon of ground cardamom directly in the cold cream. Since I am making this the night before I need it, I used confectioner's sugar and a tablespoon of instant vanilla pudding mix in the hopes that it will remain stable. Only time will tell for that, but I think the flavor worked very well. The cardamom grit is noticeable but acceptable I think; it's very fine. If I wanted to put in more effort I might steep it first then run it through cheesecloth. @Joe, this was with a hand mixer. Thanks everyone!
    – briantist
    Dec 18, 2014 at 1:22

Sweet dried fruits like raisins, dates, or apricots complement pistachio very well.

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