I first saw this Pistachio Lemon Syrup Cake on a wonderful English blog that I read thelittleloaf.wordpress.com . I have made it innumerable times since then with varying ingredients and it is always lovely. It’s a basic butter and sugar based cake but lets face it anything with Pistachios is bound to be good. I made it the first time with some Bronte Pistachio Paste, (see picture below), but if you can’t get hold of that don’t despair, this cake will work just as well without. Skip the paste and use a combination of almond flour ( meal ) and pistachio flour . This happens to be a bit rare too, but if you can get your hands on some this is a great way to use it. In place of the Pistachio flour you can grind some of your own Pistachios. If you want it to be entirely gluten free then just pop some gluten free flour in place of the plain flour. It’s very forgiving as long as you follow the basic rule. beat the butter and sugar till light and creamy and white.
The pistachios in the smaller square cake are from Bronte in Sicily where the greenest Pistachios in the world are harvested bi- annually on the perilous slopes of Mt Etna. The flavour is as brilliant as the colour and the elongated bodies and tiny flush of pink make them a very beautiful garnish. Just use the ones you can get if you think I am being too fancy, just like the ones I have used on the large round cake. All I know is you will love this cake. Add some Rose water to the syrup and some orange zest to the cake for a decidedly Middle Eastern flavour exchange. Make it in 1 tin or small loaf or round tins.
Here’s the Pistachio paste
- 375 gm butter unsalted butter, room temperature (250 gm)
- 375 gm caster sugar (250 gm)
- 6 whole eggs whisked ( 4 )
- 1 lemon Zest
- 1 whole vanilla pod or extract, Seeds scraped from one
- 240 gm almond meal
- 100 gm pistachios ground -use a food processor
- 60 gm gluten free flour or plain flour, 30 gm
- 100 gm pistachio paste or 50 gm, optional - this improves the colour and taste but is not essential
- 60 ml lemon Juice approx 1/4 cup, or orange
- 1 whole lemon zest of one
- 50 gm caster sugar or more to taste
- 40 ml Rose Water (2 tablespoons, if using)
- 60 gm pistachios coarsely chopped and roasted or left whole if you prefer
- edible roses and icing sugar to garnish
This would be great with orange zest too rosewater flavours . Serve it with yoghurt or cream or even chocolate, ice cream, cream or custard.