Wow…what a weekend!! It was spectacular – blue sky, warm temperatures. You would have thought it was July. Seriously – this is nicer than any weekend that we usually get in June. We get these days here and there – and you know who I feel sorry for the most? Those poor people who have just moved to Seattle, and think that we are all under a conspiracy here with our weather. They are all thinking that we just make up the fact that it’s raining all the time. I wish it were true…but sadly, it is not. Just wait until Junuary, and you will see.
I love pistachios – no, I mean really LOVE pistachios. I cannot just eat one, in fact, I cannot just eat ten. Once I start, I can’t stop. They are definitely my weakness, especially those crunchy salty ones. My daughters love pistachios too, and are always asking me to buy them. I seriously say no only because I know I will be eating most of them. Every once in a while I buy a big sack though, and we all sit around the table cracking open those shells and popping them in our mouths. So, when I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, I knew I had to give it a try. Fortunately for me, Trader Joes now sells bags of pre-shelled pistachios – and they are not salted. It makes baking with pistachios such a pleasant experience. I remember the first time I wanted to make something with pistachios – my husband and I spend hours shelling the nuts so I had them ready. At first it was one for me, one for the bowl…but I soon realized if I kept doing that, I would run out of nuts – and I needed to have enough for the recipe. Boy was that a test of my will power.
This cake was delicious – it was densely populated with pistachio nuts – and they didn’t just float to the top or bottom. It was rich and buttery as well – as you would expect when you are using two sticks of butter. The girls loved it, as did I – it was quite a treat – and so easy to make – that is, if you have a Trader Joes nearby. Otherwise – good luck with this. If you can get through shelling the pistachios, with enough left for the recipe – a big gold star for you – and a beautiful pound cake to celebrate…
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided
Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°. Coat a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour; tap out excess.
Whisk 2 cups flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until well incorporated, 1–2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add juices and zests; beat until well combined (mixture will look curdled), 2–3 minutes. Add dry ingredients; reduce speed to low and beat just until blended. Fold in 3/4 cup pistachios. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pistachios over.
Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. Run a sharp knife around sides to loosen; unmold cake.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Pistachio Pound Cake