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.

 

Lovely Lemon Loaf

easy lemon loaf

 

Mmmm, I love a good lemon loaf! I’ve made a few before: lemon olive oil cake, and a few that I am just now discovering I haven’t actually posted before… more to come! But this is definitely the first cake I’ve ever made in a blender! Okay, so you need bowls and stuff too, but I liked how quick it was to blend up the liquid ingredients.

Anyways, this one wins points because of the lemon drizzle that adds a nice lemony kick to balance the sweetness of the cake.

The original name, in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, is Easy Lemon Pound Cake. And it is easy, and lemony, but there’s only 1/2 pound of butter in there!

What you need for the cake: 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cake flour OR see instruction #2 below if you don’t have cake flour, as I did not
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

What you need for the lemon glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and place the rack in the centre of the oven. Grease and flour an 8 & 1/2 by 4 & 1/2 inch loaf pan. I use the wrapper for the butter to grease the pan, then shake some flour around in it.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. (If you don’t have cake flour: measure 1.5 cups of flour, then remove 3 tablespoons. Add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Now sift 5 times; yes, you have to do this to get the right consistency.)
  3. Melt the butter, then whisk it to combine any separation.
  4. Place the sugar and lemon zest in the blender (or food processor) and pulse about 5 times. Add the lemon juice, eggs and vanilla, then blend until combined. With the blender running, add the butter. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Sift the flour mixture into the batter in 3 steps, whisking gently each time until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 325F. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the loaf is a deep golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. This should take about 35 minutes, although mine took much longer.
  8. Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes then turn it onto a wire cooling rack. Poke the top and sides all over with a toothpick. I used a chopstick, which is why the holes are so visible. Cool the loaf for at least one hour.
  9. While the loaf is cooling begin making the glaze. Bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil and stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer until it has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
  10. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the glaze.

This loaf will keep at room temperature for about 5 days. It will probably be gone before that, but it won’t go bad if you hang on to it.

 

Lemon Olive Oil Coffee Cake with Cranberries and Raspberries

After browsing  the recipes on Lottie and Doof I chose to make this recipe for an afternoon tea cake.  I added a sprinkling of ground almonds on top, and used frozen cranberries and a few raspberries instead of the fresh fruit mentioned in the original recipe.  Love this cake, even after a bit of a mistake on my part – I baked it in an 8-inch pan rather than the 9-inch pan that the recipe called for.  I had to leave it in the oven a lot longer than the recipe called for, and even then it was a little soft in the middle – but still so good!  The outside was a little crispy, which I actually liked – some mistakes are worth making!

What you need:

200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)

zest of 2 lemons

100 grams melted butter (just less than 1/2 cup)

200 grams olive oil (just less than 1 cup)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

250 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 & 1/2 cups)

1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

about 1-1 & 1/2 cups fruit (I used cranberries and a few raspberries, but be creative or use what you’ve got on hand!)

What you do:

1.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.  Melt the butter and allow to cool a little.

2.  Mix the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingertips to release the oils.

3.  Crack the eggs into a large bowl and mix them with the sugar and salt.  Beat with an electric mixer for quite a while, until it has about doubled in volume.

4.  Very gradually beat in the olive oil, butter and lemon juice.

5.  Fold in the flour and baking powder, being careful not to mix too much.

6.  Pour half the batter into the pan, put a layer of fruit down, then add the rest of the batter on top of the fruit.

7.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  You can check it by inserting a toothpick and seeing if it comes out clean.  After cooling a bit you can remove it from the pan by running a knife around the edge and inverting onto a wire rack.