For years and years I've been searching for the perfect pistachio cake recipe with no success. So many of the recipes I found called for pistachio pudding mix at some point (which is essentially just green almond pudding with pistachio flecks in it)—bleck, bleck, bleck! What I really wanted was a dense, moist cake that was simple and rustic but splendidly rich with toasty, nutty flavor. Last month I decided to take matters into my own hands. Here's—what I believe is—the best pistachio pound cake ever. I hope you enjoy it :) xo Erin
PISTACHIO POUND CAKE
SERVES: 10 to 12
FOR THE CAKE
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup ground pistachios
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
FOR THE TOPPING
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios
1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350˚. Lightly butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper; butter the parchment.
2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk the ground almonds, ground pistachios, flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula. Fold in the almond extract and lemon zest, if using.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a serving plate.
4. Make the topping: Heat the sugar and 2 tablespoon water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar begins to melt. Continue to cook, swirling the pan but not stirring, until the sugar turns amber, about 5 minutes. Fold the pistachios into the caramel, then carefully pour and spread the mixture over the cake. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week (the nut topping will soften the longer it sits.)