Lemon Pistachio Loaf

Lemon Pistachio Loaf

I made this cake a while ago, but misplaced the recipe, so it’s been on hold for a while. I finally tracked the recipe down, in Cakes and Loaves by Ilona Chovancova. The bottom of the cake has a bit of a green colour to it from the pistachios – I made it because I liked the colour contrast, and also enjoy a lemony loaf. At first I was hesitant to post this recipe because the colour didn’t turn out quite as green as it looked it the cookbook. But it ended up being really tasty, so I have almost gotten over the disappointment of the colour. And it still looks pretty good.

I just changed a little bit of the process of mixing this cake. The cookbook asks you to add the baking powder and soda at the end of the mixing, but I worried that I might have pockets of these ingredients that would cause an unpleasant eating experience. So I added the flour in two portions, with the baking powder and soda mixed in.

The only other thing I might change is to add a little more lemon zest, because I really like a more pronounced lemon flavour.

What you need:

  • 100 grams (3 & 1/2 ounces) shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • zest of one organic lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

What you do:

  1. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grind the pistachios into a powder in a food processor or spice grinder.
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, and doubled in volume.
  5. Gradually add 1/3 cup of flour, salt, melted butter, lemon juice and zest. Combine the last 1/3 cup of flour with the baking powder and baking soda, then gently fold in to the batter.
  6. Divide the batter into two portions, folding the pistachios into one part.
  7. Pour the pistachio batter in first, then the other one on top. Swirl together with a fork gently.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick – there should be some crumbs clinging to the toothpick, but no wet batter. Let  the cake cool slightly before removing from the pan to cool.


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