One of the joys of cooking is discovering new ingredients.
Such was the case with this Strawberry and Pistachio Olive Oil Cake. I came across it in BBC Good Food magazine, a lovely publication that satisfies my interest in both food and all things British. The recipe caught my eye because of the trifecta of title ingredients, all of which I adore.
Also intriguing: The cake is gluten-free and quick to come together in a single bowl, after you’ve ground the pistachios . Because the batter is so reliant on nuts (cornmeal also helps keep it gluten-free), a little extra care is required. Nuts tend to burn easily, so I found it necessary to cover the cake partway through cooking to keep it from getting too dark and bitter. Similarly, you want to make sure you don’t overbake the cake, as it is delicate and crumbly. Ovens vary, so use the visual and textural cues to ensure you pull the cake out at just the right time.
I recommend serving the cake with creme fraiche or yogurt and extra strawberries to tie all the flavors together.
STRAWBERRY AND PISTACHIO OLIVE OIL CAKE
Serves 10 to 12
1¾ cups shelled raw pistachios
Scant 1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1¼ cups fine cornmeal or polenta
1 teaspoon baking powder
7 ounces strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped; more for serving
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking oil spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Put about 1½ cups of the pistachios in a food processor, and process until finely ground.
Using a hand mixer, beat the sugar and eggs together on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running, add the olive oil, beating until thoroughly combined.
Gently fold in the ground pistachios, cornmeal or polenta, baking powder and salt. Fold in the strawberries, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spoon or offset spatula. Roughly chop the remaining ¼ cup pistachios and scatter over the top.
Bake (middle rack) for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden and well-risen and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. The sides of the cake will just be starting to pull away from the walls of the pan.
Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool to room temperature. Turn it out of the pan, then flip it so the top side is facing up, and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Nutrition information: calories: 380; total fat: 24 g; saturated fat: 3 g; cholesterol: 55 mg; sodium: 75 mg; carbohydrates: 34 g; dietary fiber: 4 g; sugars: 17 g; protein: 7 g.