Meals and Courses

  • 2 teaspoons egg white
  • 150 g (5 oz) shelled pistachio nuts
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 125 g (4 oz) slightly salted butter, softened
  • 100 g (3½ oz) caster sugar
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 75 g (3 oz) plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • sifted icing sugar, for dusting

Whisk the 2 teaspoons egg white in a bowl to break it up. Add the pistachio nuts and coat thinly in the egg white. Sprinkle in the vanilla sugar, turning the nuts to coat, then spread out on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Bake in a preheated oven, 160°C (325°F), Gas Mark 3, for 10 minutes. Leave to cool, then roughly chop.

Beat together the butter, 75 g (3 oz) of the caster sugar and the lemon rind in a bowl until very pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks. Sift in the flour and baking powder, then stir in the nuts, reserving 3 tablespoons.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl with a hand-held electric whisk until peaking. Gradually whisk in the remaining sugar, a spoonful at a time. Stir a third of the mixture into the creamed mixture using a large metal spoon. Gently stir in the remaining egg whites.

Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 1 kg (2 lb) or 1.3 litre (2¼ pint) loaf tin (see page 15) and level the surface. Scatter with the reserved nuts and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Loosen the cake at the ends and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Peel off the lining paper and dust with sifted icing sugar. Serve with Honeyed Yogurt Cream, if liked (see below).

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