‘Peach and pistachio; genius.’ I sat shaking my head, half in awe and admiration, half in disbelief that I didn’t come up with the idea myself. Over a lunch of falafel and bean salad and hommus and chocolate cake, I sat brainstoming baking ideas with a clever friend when she dropped this bombshell of a flavour combination. This particular marriage of fruit and nuts is something special; the sweet, ripe flesh of the peach is perfectly partnered by the distinctively charming flavour of pistachios, and the vibrant orange and green is so darn alluring and exotic. Served warm, this delightfully soft cake quite literally falls apart as undertones of almond, walnut and lemon zest blossom with each mouthful, all swathed in a delicate drizzle of lemon icing. Yes.
Apologies for the infrequency of blog posts this year, I’m still learning how to fit life into a seven-day week. Evidently the scale is always tipping one way or another as I prioritise different things at different times. But I’ll always be here baking away, even if it’s at a slower pace. I hope you enjoy this recipe, it’s a real favourite. I modified it from an Ottolenghi Apricot, Walnut and Lavender cake that is equally as spectacular. Please also feel free to gain a little zen from the zen plant in the photos that I bought in order to increase my zen. It’s very zenful yes? It’s also dying on me, which is tainting the zen. Excuse me while I go water it again..
Peach and Pistachio Cake
Modified from Ottolenghi’s Apricot, Walnut and Lavender Cake, published in Plenty More
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 1/2 hours
- 600 g fresh yellow peaches
- 220 g caster sugar
- 100 g ground almonds
- 185 g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil (substitute with canola oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 100 g ground pistachio nuts (freshly grind in a food processor)
- 90 g plain flour/gluten free plain flour
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 100 g pure icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F fan-forced. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.
- Wash and dry the peaches, then cut them in halves, remove the stones, and cut each half into thirds. Arrange the slices in concentric circles on the base of the cake tin.
- Beat the sugar, almonds, butter, walnut oil, vanilla and lemon zest in an electric mixer on medium speed for 5-10 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl every few minutes.
- Add the eggs bit by bit, beating well between each addition until combined.
- Remove the bowl and use a large metal spoon to gently fold the ground pistachios, flour and lemon zest through the batter until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin over the peaches. Smooth the surface with a butter knife or offset spatula.
- Bake the cake on a central rack for 60-75 minutes, rotating after 30 minutes to ensure even baking. Cover with a foil dome if the cake starts to brown too quickly. The cake is cooked when a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean but moist with a few crumbs.
- Allow the cake to cool slightly on a metal rack for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the icing by whisking the icing sugar and lemon juice together until smooth. Once the cake is just warm enough to eat and the tin has cooled enough to touch, quickly and gently turn the cake out onto a serving plate and generously drizzle with icing. Serve immediately!
Store the cake covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days, but best served within 1-2 days of baking.