Special equipment: seven to eight 4-ounce aluminum baking cups or a muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray seven to eight 4-ounce aluminum baking cups with nonstick cooking spray and then dust lightly with flour.
In a medium saute pan set over medium-low heat, lightly toast the pistachios until fragrant, about 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent burning. Remove the pistachios and cool.
Place the pistachios with 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of a food processor or use a mortar and pestle, and process until finely ground.
Using a hand whisk or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment set on low speed, mix the eggs and oil until smooth, then gradually add the remaining 10 ounces sugar, the polenta, vanilla and orange zest.
Fill the prepared cups nearly to top, about 4 ounces each, as the cakes will not rise. Bake until set, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator and reheat for a later use. Serve the cakes on their own, with gelato or macerated fresh berries and whipped cream.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.