Lemon and Pistachio Cake

Saturday 2 June 2012

It's Saturday and I have a horrible cold.  I'm afraid I'm sadly lacking in inspiration and the energy to do much of anything.  I don't like to let any of you down, but for today . . . all you are getting is a repost of a cake I posted about a few years back . . .

It is a fabulous cake though, so I am quite sure you'll all forgive me.  ☺

I wrote it at the end of a week when I had not much in the house too cook with and I hadn't gone grocery shopping yet.  I came up with a real cracker though despite my lack of ingredients.  And now . . . I'll leave you to it . . .

In the fruit bowl are some lemons and one lime that need using up along with a half a bag of pistachios, leftover from a night of indulgence in front of the telly  . . .

What to do, what to do . . . sigh . . . wheels turning, turning, turning . . . I'm having a rather lazy day today and am feeling a bit indolent . . .

I think  I'll bake a cake.  It won't matter what we have for our tea tonight, if I have a great cake to serve for after's.  A scrummy teatime cake . . . all moreishly buttery and rich.  Even spaghetti on toast will taste good if there's a lovely cake waiting in the wings . . .

If there's cake, even peanut butter sandwiches are ok for tea . . . coz . . . well . . .  there's cake for afters, people . . . home baked CAKE!!

Not just any cake though . . . a lovely moist and buttery cake, filled with crunchy pistachios and lemon, and topped with lucious candied lemon and lime slices and of course,  some more crunchily addictive pistachio nuts.  (I love, LOVE pistachio nuts!)

Baked until scrummy and then glazed while still warm with some of the syrup leftover from candying the fruit slices . . .  oh, it is soooo good . . . all sticky and sweet, and yet tart and tasting somewhat of honey . . . a bit amber in colour as well.

It looks beautiful.  All glistening and smelling so buttery . . .  and citrusy . . .  and good.  Bliss, pure and utter bliss . . . food for the eyes, for the nose and for the mouth . . .

I think a nice big slice with a dollop of creme fraiche on top will go down a real treat, don't you?  (I may even have two!)

*Lemon and Pistachio Cake*
Makes one 9 inch round cake
Serving  around 8 people

A deliciously tangy cake covered with sweet  candied slices of fruit and crunchy pistachios!  A wonderful teatime  treat!  Make sure you use good quality shelled pistachios (not the  roasted salted ones please).

For the candied fruit:
1 lemon  sliced
1 lime sliced
100g caster sugar (generous 1/2 cup)
100ml  of water (6 TBS plus 2 tsp water)

For the cake:
125g unsalted  butter, softened (2/3 cup)
75g caster sugar (a generous 3/4 cup of  superfine sugar)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
125g  plain flour (a  generous 1 cup)
pinch of table salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g  shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped (about 4 1/2 ounces)
the  juice and grated zest of one unwaxed lemon
the zest of one lime

To  serve: icing sugar to dust

First do the fruit.  Combine the  sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar  dissolves.  Bring to the boil and boil for several minutes.  Add the  sliced fruit, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove  from the heat and allow to cool in the syrup before draining, reserving  the syrup.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/Gas mark 2  1/2.  Butter a 9 inch round cake tin and line with parchment paper.   Set aside.

Cream together the sugar and the butter until light  and fluffy.  Slowly beat in the eggs.  sift together the slour, salt and  baking powder.  Stir in to mix completely.  Stir in two thirds of hte  chopped nuts and the lemon and lime zests.  Stir in about 1 TBS of the  syrup from the drained fruit.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared  baking pan.  Top with the slices of candied fruit and sprinkle the  pistachio nuts evenly over top of all.  Drizzle with a bit of the  reserved syrup.  Bake in the heated oven on the middle shelf for about  40 minutes.  Test with a toothpick to see if it is done.  A toothpick  inserted in the centre should come out clean, and the top should spring  back when gently pressed.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the  pan for about 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish  cooling.  Brush the top of the cake with some more of the reserved  syrup.

If desired dust with icing sugar before cutting into  wedges to serve.

Know what people.  Having a bad cold is the pits . . . but having a rotten bad cold on the Queens Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend . . . is the worst thing of all.  All I want to do is go to bed with my hot water bottle and some aspirin . . .


  1. Oh my, This looks so wonderfully delicious! I love pistachios and I know I would love this cake!

  2. I always feel like i'm right there with you, this is such a yummy cake, I wish I had your talent for baking, it must be such a satisfying gift to have,

  3. So sorry you are under the weather. Like you said, not a good weekend for that. I'm watching as much news coverage as they are showing here in the US. I'm certainly making this cake, looks heavenly. Feel better.

  4. I followed the recipe exactly but my cake crumbles when I cut a slice. Does this happen to you too? Maybe I over baked it??

    1. Chances are that you did Chris. As you can see mine isn't crumbly at all. Maybe your oven runs a tad bit hotter? Have you ever checked it?

  5. looks yummy. does the juice of the lemon get mixed into the batter when the lime and lemon zests are mixed in?

    1. Yes it does! Sorry I wasn’t really clear on that in the instructions. Hope you bake the cake and enjoy it!

  6. Hello,
    Just wondering I followed the recipe, and it didn't seem to rise at all? It is quite flat?
    Looks delicious thought

  7. It is not a cake that rises really tall as you can see from the photos. It’s somewhat dense, but delicious! It’s not meant to be light and airy like you would expect with some cakes. There is only 1/2 tsp of baking powder. It’s very European. We quite like it!


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