The flavours in this cake really take me back to summers in Turkey when my Grandad would sit out on the terrace picking pomegranate seeds from the huge red pomegranates that would grow in his garden. To this day, he still brings me boxes of seeds, which I throw into every sweet or savoury dish I can. This recipe uses my lemon drizzle recipe with a few slight alternations to give it a summery Mediterranean vibe. The pistachios and yoghurt gives a richer crumb texture which really sings when combined with the lemon zest. And instead of a lemon juice syrup poured over the top, I have substituted for a rich pink pomegranate glaze topped with extra pistachios and those juicy pomegranate seeds.
Prep 15 minutes | Cook 50 minutes | Cuts into 10 slices
110g unsalted butter
75g full fat yoghurt
200g caster sugar
150g pistachios, plus extra to decorate
75g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp tsp salt
2 lemons, zest of
100g pomegranate seeds
200g icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 3 and grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin.
2. Using an electric whisk, cream together the butter, yoghurt and sugar for a 3-4 minutes until light, fluffy and pale in colour.
3. Lightly beat the eggs and add them to the mix gradually, beating between each addition.
4. Ground the pistachios in a food processor so they break down into a fine green flour. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix with the ground pistachio flour. Gently fold this into the wet mix, along with the lemon zest.
5. When the mix is well combined, pour into the loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown on top and a skewer test comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too quickly, cover the top with a sheet of foil while it continues to bake.
6. Leave the cake in the tin to cool while you prepare the icing. In a food processor, blitz half the pomegranate seed. Don't worry that they won't break down completely as its the juice you want. Transfer to a fine sieve set over a bowl and use a spoon to push as much juice through as you can, discarding the broken down skins and seeds you're left with.
7. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and mix together with the pomegranate juice till you have a beautiful pink icing. Add a little more icing sugar if it's too runny or a few drops of water if it's too thick - you want to drizzle it over the cold cake so that it doesn't completely run off the sides.
8. Carefully remove the cake and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle over the icing and scatter over extra pomegranates and pistachios to serve.