Pis­ta­chio and lime loaf

House Beautiful (UK) - - MENU BREAKFAST -

I love this recipe – hum­ble, un-iced and sim­ple in ap­pear­ance – for its pure, unadul­ter­ated flavour.

If you can source the ex­pen­sive Ira­nian pis­ta­chios, use them to re­place half of the reg­u­lar nuts for the most bril­liant­colour loaf imag­in­able.

MAKES 1 x 900g loaf

250g un­salted but­ter,

soft­ened

225g caster sugar

Zest of 1 lime

1tsp vanilla bean paste 125g pis­ta­chio nuts

4 eggs

100g ground al­monds 125g plain flour

1tsp bak­ing pow­der

¼tsp salt

Ic­ing sugar, for dust­ing, or fresh figs and nat­u­ral yo­gurt, to serve

1 Pre­heat the oven to 180ºC/ 160ºC fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line a loaf tin. In the bowl of a free­stand­ing mixer, cream to­gether the but­ter, sugar, lime zest and vanilla paste un­til pale and fluffy. I use the whisk at­tach­ment to get plenty of air into the mix­ture (or use an elec­tric hand whisk).

2 In the bowl of a food pro­ces­sor, blitz the pis­ta­chio nuts un­til they are fine and re­sem­ble the con­sis­tency of ground al­monds. Re­move from the pro­ces­sor and add to the creamed sugar mix, along with the eggs, al­monds, flour, bak­ing pow­der and salt. Whisk un­til well com­bined and you have a pale and light bat­ter.

3 Spoon the bat­ter into the pre­pared tin, then bake for 50-60min or un­til the sponge feels firm to the touch and a knife in­serted into the mid­dle of the loaf comes out clean.

4 Al­low the loaf to cool a lit­tle in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool com­pletely. Serve dusted with a lit­tle ic­ing sugar, or with fresh figs and nat­u­ral yo­gurt.

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