Flour. Yogurt. Lemon zest. Sugar. Eggs. Vegetable oil. Unsalted pistachios. Put them all together in the right combination with a bit of salt, some baking powder, a smidgen of increasingly costly vanilla extract, and a 1/4 cup of your favorite marmalade and you’ll have one of the most delightful cakes to ever come out of your oven. No mixer, blender, or food processor involved. Just two bowls – one for the dry ingredients, one for the wet, and an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2″ loaf pan.
Most pound cakes are heavily laden with butter. Not this one. The only butter involved is the small pat you use to generously butter your loaf pan. Instead, it derives its moist and distinctive texture from a cup of full-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.
I use a Williams-Sonoma “gold” loaf pan for this – the perfect size and weight for this cake, but any good metal loaf pan will suffice. This fits nicely into my Breville countertop convection oven, so if you have one or a similar oversized toaster-oven, by all means use it instead of your full-sized oven.
The pistachios are optional. I sometimes make this with almonds, but you can leave out the nuts and still have a lovely accompaniment to your afternoon tea.
LEMONY YOGURT POUND CAKE WITH PISTACHIOS
(photo taken after enjoying two slices from the middle for our dessert last night)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted pistachio nut meats or blanched slivered almonds (optional if you dislike nuts, but really a nice addition)
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk yogurt, preferably goat milk yogurt which is naturally lighter in fat
grated zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup lemon, orange, grapefruit marmalade heated with 1 tsp water until it melts
(I used a lovely lemon-pear marmalade from Stonewall Kitchen this time, thus the little chunks shown in the photo)
Preheat oven to 350º and generously butter your loaf pan. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and nuts in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, yogurt, lemon zest and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the flour mixture, and then fold in the vegetable oil with a spatula until completely incorporated into the batter. Pour into prepared pan, place pan on a baking sheet (like the one that comes with your countertop oven) and bake about 50 minutes until that proverbial tester comes out clean. Cake will have risen nicely and be a deep golden brown.
Cool in pan on a rack about 5 minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to cool until just warm. Brush the hot marmalade over the cake and let it set and cool before slicing.