Vintage Pistachio Squares

A friend tells me that anything that’s about 50 years old is vintage. This recipe definitely qualifies. So do I, come to think of it. Vintage or not, these Pistachio Squares were definitely in need of an update. 

About 50 years ago, they were a favourite dessert to serve at bridal and baby showers. There were versions with crushed pineapple or several colours of Jello was well. Does this ring a bell? This was also the era when my Mother and her friends thought edible petroleum-based whip cream products (I won’t mention any brands but I think you know what I’m talking about) were a “Godsend.”

I’ve brought this recipe into the new millennium by using real organic whip cream and by bulking up the pistachio nut content. What I did not change was the use of JELLO instant pistachio pudding because, I like it.

This Vintage Pistachio Squares recipe makes me nostalgic for a time when we’d sit in our pyjamas at the top of the stairs waiting for “the ladies” to leave their social gathering. Then we’d sneak down to the kitchen and have a slice of this yumminess before going to bed. We prayed they wouldn’t savour it all.  But, I hope you do.

Vintage Pistachio Squares


Time: 60 minutes plus chilling time Yield: 12 servings

Equipment: springform or 9×13-inch pan


  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ⅔ cup chopped pistachio nuts (divided ⅓ and ⅓ )
  • 1½ cups whipping cream
  • ⅔ cup icing sugar plus 1 Tablespoon (divided thus)
  • 1 (8 ounce – 250 gram) package cream cheese
  • 1 package of JELLO pistachio pudding mix (plus 2 cups of milk for this)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉ and grease either a 9×13-inch pan or an 11-inch springform pan.
  2. Place the flour, butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy. Stir in ⅓ cup of the pistachio nuts and then press the mixture into the pan then bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
  3. Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks start to form, add the 1 Tablespoon of icing sugar and continue beating until well whipped. Transfer to another bowl and reserve.
  4. Place the cream cheese and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add 1 cup of the whipped cream and beat slowly until smooth. Spread this mixture over the crust.
  5. Make the pistachio pudding according to the package directions then add 1 cup of the whipped cream and stir until well blended. Spread this over the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Drop the remaining whipped cream in 6 or 7 spoonfuls on top of the pudding mix. Use a knife to swirl the whipped cream into the pudding.
  7. Top with the remaining chopped nuts and refrigerate for a few hours. Tip: my friend’s Mom used to keep it in the freezer. She said it tasted as good and was easier to cut.
  8. Slice and enjoy at dessert or a special tea time.

Leave a Reply