The girls showered me with their praises when they tasted this loaf. And since I thrive off flattery and compliments (heehee), I made a second loaf immediately for next morning's breakfast which was greeted with the same gleeful enthusiasm.
Stroke stroke stroke. My ego.
Never you mind that the judging panel was comprised of a 6 year old and a 3 year old. I decided I would definitely share this recipe on the blog with you so you too can have your ego stroked. Or at the very least, have your breakfast sorted.
Flattery aside, I really was elated about this loaf because it was my first time grinding pistachio into flour. I googled about it and got nervous reading about clumping and/or not grinding into a fine enough texture. Or worst, grinding it into nut butter if taken too far. As is the case when consulting the interwebs, there was a whole lot of advice, not all congruent. Blanch the nuts and remove the skins. Another said roast them first. Freeze them first. Whatever you do, do not freeze them first. A nut grinder was recommended several times (as if, who even owns a nut grinder for heaven's sake?)
At the same time, there were enough recipes that tossed shelled, whole pistachios straight into the food processor and moved right along. That was very encouraging.
A light bulb went on when I came across a recipe that combined the recipe's sugar with the pistachios in the grinding step. This reminded me of the approach for making powdered (aka confectioner's) sugar which involves the addition of a starchy powder like cornstarch to get a finer outcome. Since no granulated sugar is being used in this recipe, I decided it would make sense to blitz the pistachios with the arrowroot starch. For good measure, I threw the almond flour and salt into the party and it worked out really well (see image left image above).
I also think that a loaf or similar cake-y recipe like this one is more forgiving than say, a French macaron recipe where the pistachio flour must be ultra fine to achieve a smooth, shiny shell.
Let me know if you've got a good trick for making pistachio flour too please and thank you!
We thoroughly enjoyed the extra touch of richness that the pistachio flour imparted on the loaf, compared to almond flour alone. That said, you can absolutely make this recipe with all almond flour if you don't feel like going through the trouble of sourcing or making pistachio flour. I've made it numerous times with almond flour alone and I guarantee it's still super moist and delicious, maybe just a tad less fancy pants.
p.s. I named this a 'loaf' but this is basically a cake (shhhhhhh) so it would be acceptable to eat for breakfast. Sometimes my genius frightens even me ;)
MAKE IN ADVANCE:
- I make this loaf the day before serve it for breakfast the following morning. After baking, allow it to fully cool to room temperature, wrap it up tightly and keep in the fridge overnight. To serve, cut thick slices and toast them a few minutes in my toaster oven and it is devoured! You can also keep it on the counter overnight, tightly wrapped.
- You can freeze this loaf in a tightly sealed freezer-safe ziptop bag for a month or so. Defrost overnight on the counter to enjoy for breakfast.
- Pistachio flour - if you do not want to make pistachio flour and do not have access to commercially-made pistachio flour, omit the 1/2C (65g) whole pistachios and increase the amount of almond flour by 1 cup (100g) for a total of 1 3/4 cup (175g) almond flour.
- Rhubarb - if it is not in season, simply omit the rhubarb on the top and just sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
Ghee - if you don't have ghee and don't have any issues with consuming dairy, use organic unsalted butter instead.
Honey Pistachio + Rhubarb Loaf
gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, paleo
Makes one 8" x 4.5" loaf.
1/2 C (65g) + 2 tbsp (15g) whole pistachios, shells removed (from about 180g of in-shell pistachios)
3/4 C (75g) fine almond flour (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
1/4 C (30g) arrowroot flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 C (65g) organic ghee (substitute with organic unsalted butter if dairy is not an issue)
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 C (120ml) honey
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat the oven to 325f. Grease and line a 8" x 4.5" loaf pan.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the ghee (or butter) over low heat. You can also do this in the microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Using a mandoline, carve out long ribbons of the rhubarb just shorter than the length of your loaf pan or ~7.5" long. You can also do this with a vegetable peeler. Set aside.
4. Place the pistachios in the food processor and pulse only a few times until you have pieces that resemble being rough-chopped by hand with a knife. Scoop out about 2 tbsp of the pistachios and set aside for sprinkling over the top of the loaf. Next, place the almond flour, arrowroot flour and salt into the food processor with the remaining partially-chopped pistachios. Pulse repeatedly until you have a mixture resembling coarse meal - see image. Set aside.
5. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a tall medium-sized container or the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the yolks in another large mixing bowl, along with the slightly cooled melted ghee (or butter), honey, vanilla and lemon juice. Whisk well to combine. Add the dry mixture in several batches into the large bowl of yolk mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain.
6. Using a whisk (I use the whisk attachment of my immersion blender for speed and minimal clean-up) or the whisk attachment of your stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they look like softly whipped cream with soft peaks. On a stand mixer, this takes me about 2-ish minutes on level 8 speed and about half that time using the immersion blender whisk attachment. Whichever you use, make sure you get those soft peaks because this is where you add lightness to the loaf. Sprinkle and stir the baking soda into the batter. Switching to a rubber spatula, stir in about a third of the whipped whites to lighten the batter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until only a few streaks of egg whites are visible.
7. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Lay rhubarb ribbons on top, side by side, leaving small gap between them (probably 3 or 4 ribbons depending on thickness). Cut another one or two strips of rhubarb ribbons into shorter lengths ~4" with diaganol cuts. Lay these shorter strips across the long pieces, on a slight slant almost creating a hatched or lattice pattern, with small gaps in between. You can weave them under and over for a true lattice pattern but that's entirely optional. Sprinkle the reserved chopped pistachios over the top. Bake in preheated oven about 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer poked into the center of the loaf emerges clean. Leave to set for 5 minutes, then run a sharp knive around the edge and turn out onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely, if you can resist!
Slice into thick pieces and enjoy!
Recipe adapted using Paleo Patisserie's vanilla cake recipe.