Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pistachio-Citrus Pound Cake

Here’s something that I made and managed not to taste right away, instead stashing it in the freezer for after the baby was born. It’s a pistachio-citrus pound cake that I found on Orangette, though it’s originally from Bon Appétit. I unfortunately neglected to get a picture of the whole loaf when it was made; instead, I cut it in half and froze everything, and I only tasted it recently. It was delicious! Not too sweet, this pound cake might be more of a snack than a dessert. As for the citrus, you could make it as is (with lemon, orange and lime), but if it’s citrus season, consider using Meyer lemon or tangerines, for example. Note that I put fewer pistachios in the batter than called for, because that’s usually not my favorite place for nuts, but I like them on top of the cake!

2 cups (260 g.) all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
1 cup (125 g.) shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped; divided

Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325 °F. Lightly grease a 9”x5” loaf pan. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to line the bottom and the two long sides of the pan, leaving a little overhang. Press the parchment paper into the pan, and grease it lightly, too.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, and beat until well incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add the juices and the zests, and beat until well combined. (Don’t worry if the batter looks curdled.) Add the flour mixture, reduce the speed to low, and beat until just incorporated. Add ¾ cup of the pistachios, and fold in gently. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup pistachios over the top.

Bake the cake, rotating it halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 ½ hours. Transfer it to a wire rack, and let it cool completely in the pan. Run a sharp knife along the short ends of the pan to loosen the cake; then pull up on the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan. (The flavor of this cake is best the day after it’s made. I can tell you that it freezes well, too.)

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