Adventures In Baking: Meyer Lemon, Rhubarb & Pistachio Bundt Cake
Continuing in my quest to make the most of my new bundt tin, and take over the world one bundt cake at a time, a couple of weeks back I made a Meyer Lemon, Rhubarb and Pistachio Bundt Cake. This ethereally soft and springlike bundt cake couldn’t be more different from the squidgy, fudgy chocolate cake I made for the Joy the Baker event, but it was still devoured with alarming alacrity by the whole family.
This cake is an adaptation of a recipe from Kimberly Taylor’s charming blog which bowled me over the minute it popped up on my Facebook page. Her cake features Meyer lemons and rhubarb, but I couldn’t contemplate putting these two ingredients together without adding pistachios, the flavours are a match made in heaven and the delicate pink and green pastel colours are so very spring-like.
Meyer lemons are a wonderful seasonal American delicacy, thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin. If you can’t get hold of them then normal lemons will do just fine. I amended the recipe by adding in some ground almonds/almond meal, some pistachio flavouring and sprinkling the finished cake with whole pistachios.
For the cake
1 cup butter
1 3/4 cups bakers’ (caster) sugar
zest of one lemon (Meyer or normal)
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp pistachio flavouring (or almond extract)
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon or 1/2 normal large lemon
1 3/4 cups all purpose (plain) flour
3/4 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
For the glaze
2 1/2 cups icing/powdered sugar
Juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons softened butter
Whole pistachios to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C.
Brush melted butter into every single nook and cranny of your bundt pan and then shake in a couple of tablespoons of flour, so that every part of the surface is greased and floured. Shake out the excess flour.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. Stir in the almonds.
Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until very pale and fluffy. Whisk the eggs together in a small jug and then little by little beat them into the creamed mixture, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the pistachio flavouring and lemon juice.
With the stand mixer on a lowish speed, add a third of the flour mixture and then a third of the buttermilk and then alternate until all the flour and milk are fully incorporated. Mix for one additional minute.
Stir in the chopped rhubarb with a wooden spoon. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt tin. Bake for 1 hour. Insert a skewer or a stick of spaghetti and if comes out clean the cake is ready. If not return to the oven for a few more minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Set a timer and leave the cake in the pan for 20 minutes, no more, no less. When 20 minutes is up (the optimum time, according to Joy the Baker, to ensure best bundt removal) turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
To make the glaze, whisk the butter and lemon juice together. Whisk in half the icing sugar. Add the second cup of icing sugar and whisk until incorporated. The glaze should be thin enough to pour, but thick enough to cling to the cake. Either add sugar or juice to amend the consistency as appropriate.
Sprinkly a few whole pistachios over the top and serve when the glaze is fully set.