Seriously. You're gonna want to read this one, Muffins, especially if you have devoted this religious season to NOT indulging in sweets (wait, are you crazy?!?!).
This recipe is about as healthy as we get when it comes to dessert.
Fruit for dessert. HA! Is it on top of ice cream? Baked into a cobbler or a pie? Dipped in chocolate? People who tell you a piece of fruit is all they need to "satisfy" their sweet tooth are lying. They are going home and inhaling a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby in their dark kitchen hidden from the prying and judgemental eyes of us. Admittedly, we do this when we have actually eaten real dessert but are "too dainty" to dig in in front of other people. Second dessert. Like second breakfast.
But this fabulous cake is not fruit. And nor is it really healthy. It's Blue-Eyed Bakers healthy. So, you know.
In fact, it's prolly more like a tea cake than a dessert loaf. Cake for tea. We mean, let's not fool anyone. Dessert shouldn't be even remotely healthy. Not even Blue-Eyed Bakers healthy.
But tea cake could totally be Blue-Eyed Bakers healthy so this Pistachio Almond Loaf (with or without the lovely lemon cream) is essentially like having fruit for dessert.
Pistachio Almond Loaf with Lemon Cream
Adapted from Epicurious
For the Cake:
1 1/3 cups shelled pistachio nuts (we used salted)
1 1/3 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
For the Lemon Cream:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan. Line with parchment paper (the parchment will stick to the butter keeping it in place).
In a food processor, combine the pistachios and almonds and pulse until finely ground. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Grate the zest from the lemons directly into the bowl. And beat until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract just until incorporated. On low speed, gradually add the ground nuts and mix just until incorporated. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt and mix just until incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with a light crumb, about 60-75 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, tapping the pan, invert the loaf onto the wire rack peeling the parchment off.
To make the lemon cream, using an electric mixer, whisk the cream until thickened and about the consistency of Greek yogurt. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar.
Serve each slice of loaf with a dollop of cream and scatter with pistachios.