These pistachio and cherry biscotti are real keepers – they last a couple of months, if you can resist them

Can’t get enough of that dunky stuff: Tamal Ray’s biscotti.
 Can’t get enough of that dunky stuff: Tamal Ray’s biscotti. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Valerie Berry

There are few things more welcoming than walking into a cafe and being greeted by the sight of a shining jar of biscotti. The dough for this recipe, flavoured with honey and orange-blossom water, will be much wetter than you might expect. All will be saved by the second bake, however, with the water being driven out to give the crisp texture and long shelf life for which they are known.

They’ll keep for a couple of months in an airtight jar, although I find they rarely last that long.

Pistachio biscotti

Orange-blossom water comes in two different varieties: a highly concentrated, alcohol-based form and a gentler, more traditional, water-based one. It’s the water-based one I use in this recipe.

Prep 20 min
Cook 50 min
Makes 12

130g unsalted pistachios
90g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
30g caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1 medium egg
30g honey
2 tsp orange-blossom water (optional)
60g dried cherries

Start by grinding 70g pistachios to a powder using an electric spice grinder or food processor. If you don’t have either, then substitute the ground pistachios for ready-ground almonds.

Mix the ground pistachios with the flour, sugar and baking powder, then mix in the egg, honey and orange-blossom water. Finally, stir through the dried cherries and remaining pistachios.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper over a baking sheet, dust with flour, then turn the dough out on to it. Flour your hands and the top of the dough and pat it into a rectangle roughly measuring 12cm x 18cm and 2.5cm thick. The dough will be very sticky and a bit of a nightmare to handle, so be sure to use the extra flour.

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to slice. Using a bread-knife, carefully slice the loaf into 1.5cm-thick slices. Turn the oven down to 160C (140C fan)/275F/gas 3, and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through baking, until the biscotti have dried out and become crisp. Leave to cool, then store in an airtight jar.