Nistisimo Cake me Fistikia ke Ksera Frouta

Pistachio and Dried Fruit Cake with Orange

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    one

    9-x-5 inch loaf cake

Appears in

MY MOTHER used to bake this cake during Lent. We were not so religious as to follow the rules of the Church, which prohibited eating any food derived from animals during the forty days before Christmas and before Easter (and on many other occasions). We were simply continuing a family tradition which dictated that various foods or sweets should be made at a particular time of year.

The flavor of this cake is rich, and its texture is dense, much like an English fruitcake. It should be made a day in advance, and it keeps for at least a week—getting better each day—if stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature.

Ingredients

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup safflower oil
  • cup sugar
  • ½ cup brandy
  • cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup chopped dried figs
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup chopped prunes
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped unsalted pistachios or walnuts
  • Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan and line it with a sheet of aluminum foil that extends about 2 inches over the short ends. (This will make removing the cake from the pan easier.)

Toss together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and cloves in a large bowl. Stir in the orange zest. In a medium bowl, whisk the oils and sugar until well combined.

Make a well in the flour mixture and stir in the oil mixture, brandy and orange juice until smooth. Stir in the dried fruits and nuts until evenly distributed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

Run a thin knife or spatula along the long sides of the pan and carefully lift out the cake with the aluminum foil. Peel off the foil and place the cake on a plate. If you like, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Slice and serve.

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