Pistachio and lime loaf
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,
225g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lime
1tsp vanilla bean paste 125g pistachio nuts
100g ground almonds 125g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
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.