Pistachio Pound Cake


This recipe was in the April 2012 issue of Bon Appétit, in their RSVP section (where readers write in to request their favorite restaurant recipes).  The reader who wrote in said, “The sublime pistachio pound cake at the Tasting Room in Houston is my dream dessert.”  And as soon as I read through the recipe, I couldn’t wait to make it.  And I did.  And it was so good that I was just looking for excuses to make it again.  For a couple of months, any time we either entertained here or we’d go to someone’s house for dinner, I’d volunteer  to bring a dessert and I’d make another Pistachio Pound Cake.  It’s buttery and light and citrusy and full of pistachios (don’t you just love pistachios?)  And it’s absolutely  gorgeous when you slice into it.  Yes, even sublime.

It’s delicious “dressed up” for dessert with some fresh whipped cream on the side (and maybe even a sprinkling of sugared pistachios…I did that once) and perfect for breakfast with coffee.

Anybody have a good excuse for me to make another one?


Pistachio Pound Cake


Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided


Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour; tap out excess.

Whisk 2 cups flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until well incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add juices and zests; beat until well combined (mixture will look curdled), 2-3 minutes. Add dry ingredients; reduce speed to low and beat just until blended. Fold in 3/4 cup pistachios. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pistachios over.

Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. Run a sharp knife around sides to loosen; unmold cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

 Serve accompanied with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and sprinkled with a few sugared pistachios (optional).

Sugared Pistachios

Heat oven to 350°.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Slightly whisk an egg white in a small cup.  Transfer 1 tablespoon egg white to a medium bowl; whisk until frothy (discard remaining egg white).  Add 1 cup coarsely chopped pistachios and 3 tablespoons sugar; toss to combine.  Spread on lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 8 minutes or until dry and toasted.  Cool; break apart.


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