Kermani-Style Pistachio Cake By Najmieh Batmanglij

8 servings.

1 cup sugar
1 cup pistachios kernels
4 eggs, separated (room temperature)
Zest of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped out, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons rose water
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup canola oil or unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup ground pistachios
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)


Place the oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8-inch spring form cake pan and line the base with parchment paper. Then butter and dust the top of the parchment paper. Pulse the sugar and pistachios in a food processor until finely ground. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, orange zest, vanilla, rose water, yogurt, and oil for about 5 minutes until creamy. Fold in the sugar and pistachio mixture using a rubber spatula. Sift together the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour onto a piece of wax paper. Use a rubber spatula to fold into the egg yolk mixture. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and fold into the flour mixture until you have smooth batter. Gently pour the batter into the cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Tap the pan to release the cake. Turn the cake out onto the rack and remove the mold, peel off the parchment paper, and turn the cake over. Sprinkle the top with ground pistachios, and dust with cardamom powder and confectioners’ sugar. Allow to cool completely, uncovered, to air-dry. Transfer to a serving platter.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!