Pistachio Pound Cake

Pistachio Pound Cake

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…

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

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

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