“The recipe for this lovely cake was given to me by the wonderful food writer and cooking teacher Elise Pascoe. The original version was made with lemons; however, as our lime trees are such bountiful providers for so much of the year, I tend to make it with limes instead.”
WHAT YOU NEED
100g unsalted pistachios
60g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Finely grated zest of 3 large limes
120g almond meal
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup (80g) pomegranate seeds, to decorate, optional
Softly whipped cream or Greek-style yoghurt, to serve
Pistachio and lime syrup
90g caster sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh lime juice (from about three large limes), strained
90g pistachios, roughly chopped
WHAT TO DO
1. Preheat your oven to 170°C. Butter a 22-24cm round cake tin, line the base with buttered baking paper, then dust the tin with flour.
2. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor with a tablespoon of flour (the flour helps prevent them from becoming oily and forming a paste). Be watchful as they can go from being perfectly chopped to pasty in the blink of an eye.
3. Tip the ground pistachios, remaining flour, baking powder, lime zest and almond meal into a medium-sized Whisk them together with a balloon whisk for a minute or so, then set the bowl aside.
4. Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a hand- held electric beater) and beat them on medium speed for about four minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally, until the mixture looks Beat in the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to be absorbed before adding the next. (Don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled after adding the last egg – it will come together again when you add the dry ingredients.) Tip in the flour mixture and mix everything together on low speed just until it is combined – be careful not to over-mix it, or the cake may be a bit tough. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
5. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, or until it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and leave it to cool a little in the tin.
6. When the cake is lukewarm, make the syrup. To do this, put the sugar and lime juice into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the chopped pistachios, increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil.
7. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate and peel away the baking paper. Slowly spoon the hot pistachio and lime syrup over the top, then leave the cake to cool completely. Just before serving, scatter it with pomegranate seeds, if using. Serve with softly whipped cream or yoghurt.