Yes, yes. I know what you’re all wondering. No, this isn’t THE hash cake as we know it. The only thing you’ll be OD’ing on is pistachios. At least it’s green. And makes you happy.
Inspired by The Barbary’s Hash cake, this cake is not too different to a frangipani – an almond-based pastry filling, except this recipe, favours pistachios. Atypical I know, but green does win.
Did you know that pistachios grow in clusters, similar to grapes?
However, unlike vines, they grow on bushy branches atop a narrow trunk. Whilst pistachios grew favourably in Central Asia, they had been introduced to Europe. You can find a concentration of pistachio trees in eastern Sicily, (the western slopes of Mount Etna volcano). The Sicilian districts known for their pistachio cultivation are called Bronte and Adrano (Catania Province).
Although not ABSOLUTELY necessary, I used 100% pure pistachio paste from Bronte (no, I wasn’t frolicking under the pistachio trees in Bronte – I purchased this online). The rest is pretty straightforward in terms of ingredients. The pastry and the filling together only amount to six ingredients: Butter, sugar, eggs, flour, almonds and pistachios. Baking this is going to be a piece of cake! Enjoy!
Time: 1hr 30 minutes, plus 1 hr resting time
***I N G R E D I E N T S***
- 125g of butter
- 75g of sugar
- 1 eggs
- 25g of ground almonds
- 200g of plain flour, sifted
- 200g of butter
- 150g of brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 75g of pistachio nuts, blitzed
- 50g whole pistachios
- 75g of ground almonds or 25g pure almond paste
- 75g pure pistachio paste (this would contain no extra sugar)
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out (or equivalent in vanilla paste)
- Icing sugar, sprinkled
- A dollop of cream (Optional)
***M E T H O D***
- To make the pastry, place the butter (cold) and sugar in a mixer and cream together. Mix in the eggs, then slowly add the flour and ground almonds, mixing slowly until it comes together into a thick crumb – do not over mix
- Tip out onto a work surface and lightly bring together into a dough with your hands. Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour
- Meanwhile, make the pistachio filling. Beat the butter and sugar together until light in colour, then beat in the eggs. Add the blitzed pistachios, paste, almonds and vanilla, and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate until needed
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out until big enough to line the loose based tin. Carefully lay the rolled-out pastry over the tart ring and gently press into the edges, leaving a slight overhang of pastry all the way around. Any leftovers can be wrapped and stored in the freezer for 3 months
- Prick the pastry all over with a fork, line with a sheet of baking parchment and add a layer of baking beans. Blind bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes, then remove the parchment and baking beans and place back in the oven for a further 6 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 160°C. Take out and trim the excess pastry from the edges.
- Add the pistachio filling, filling only half the tin, spreading out evenly with a palette knife or spatula. Add a layer of pistachios and top with the rest of the pistachio filling. Make sure to even it out.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until just cooked, then remove and allow to cool. Remove from the ring. Serve with sprinkled icing sugar and a dollop of cream.