This cake is a cinch to make, and the combination of pistachio and lemon makes it a winner for breakfast, tea, or dessert.—Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers
For the cake
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean
2/3 cup blanched almonds
3/4 cup pistachios
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
4 eggs, organic if possible
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For the topping
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup superfine sugar
Make the cake
1. Heat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Grease a 12-by-4 1/2-by- 2 3/4-inch loaf pan with 4 teaspoons of the butter and line with baking parchment.
2. Soften the remaining butter. Finely grate the lemon peel. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Finely grind the almonds and pistachios together.
3. Beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the lemon peel and vanilla seeds, then fold in the nuts and sift in the flour.
4. Spoon the batter into the pan and bake for 45-60 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan, then turn out.
Make the topping
1. Grate the lemon peel and squeeze the juice. Halve the pistachios.
2. Mix the lemon juice with the sugar, boil until reduced to a syrup, then add the peel. Stir in the pistachios and pour over the cake.
Recipe © 2004 Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. All rights reserved.