This homespun loaf cake evokes the nut tree-covered hills of Avellino and the lemon-scented Amalfi coast. The cake batter is primarily ground raw nuts, generously flavored with lemon zest. The latter gives the finished cake a pronounced citrus flavor that pairs well with the orange salad.
Pistachio and almond cake
- 1 1/3 cups unsalted shelled pistachio nuts
- 1 1/3 cups blanched whole almonds
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 Blood oranges
- 2 , navel or blood oranges
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- unsalted shelled pistachio nuts
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Butter a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan. Then, using a sifter or a fine-mesh strainer, dust it with flour, tapping out the excess.
In a food processor, combine the pistachios and almonds and pulse until finely ground. Set aside.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Grate the zest from the lemons directly into the bowl. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. Mix in the vanilla just until incorporated. On low speed, gradually add the nuts and mix just until incorporated. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt and mix just until incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, run a paring knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake sides, invert the cake onto a plate, and lift off the pan. At this point, the cake can be served warm or allowed to cool completely before being sliced and reheated.
For the orange salad
Cut a slice off the top and bottom of 1 orange, stand the orange upright, and cut downward to remove the rind and pith in thick strips. Cut the orange crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, capturing any juice. Repeat with all of the remaining oranges. Set the oranges slices aside until needed.
Gently heat the marmalade in a pot over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until syrupy. Add any captured orange juice along with the lemon juice to the marmalade. Remove the pot from the heat and add 1 to 2 tablespoons water to thin the marmalade to the consistency of a vinaigrette. Let cool.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Cut the cake into generous slices and place on a baking sheet. Bake the slices, turning them over once, for about 5 minutes, or until warm and slightly toasted on both sides.
Place 4 or 5 orange slices on each plate and drizzle generously with the marmalade syrup. Place the warm pieces of cake next to the orange slices and top with a dollop of yogurt and a few pistachios. Serve immediately.
More cake recipes on Food Republic: