David does not like peanut butter. It is a great failing of his but one I am willing to accept because he has so many other great qualities. I try to keep this in mind as I bake but there are some times I just have to make a peanut butter dessert. He is a good sport about it, especially because he knows there are other times I let his particular preferences be my guide. This is an easy loaf cake that does double duty as a dessert (you can eat it as is or dress it up with whipped cream or ice cream) and is also really yummy as something sweet for breakfast. Most importantly, it features pistachio nuts, something David absolutely loves. And the pistachios are the real star of the cake – they are ground to use as a flour rather than just making a vanilla cake and dotting it with pistachios.
And speaking of love, this turned out to be a real labor of love because we did not have the big Costco bag of shelled pistachios I thought we did when I started making it. So instead I had to shell a whole bunch of pistachios myself – no big deal when you are popping them into your mouth one by one and immediately rewarded for your efforts, but quite the ordeal when you are trying to fill a measuring cup.
So let these pistachios serve as a testament to how much I love my hubby.
Also, I tweaked this recipe a bit by adding orange rind instead of lemon rind and making a glaze with orange rind, juice and powdered sugar.
(recipe courtesy of Samantha Seneviratne, Food Network)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw, unsalted, shelled pistachios
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom of an 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the entire pan. Pulse 1 cup of the pistachios and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a food processor until very finely ground.
Transfer the pistachio mixture to a large bowl. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Beat in the lemon zest. In three additions, beat in the pistachio-flour mixture, alternating with additions of buttermilk, starting and ending with pistachio-flour mixture. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake and then tip the cake out of the pan. Remove the parchment, turn the cake right side up, and let it cool completely. Once it is cool, you can glaze it as I did or just leave it as is. (For the glaze, use about 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of orange rind. Add enough orange juice to get the consistency you want.) Either way, sprinkle the remaining pistachios on top of the cake before serving.