Pistachio Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Blueberries
Emily wrote an article in Taste about Pastry Chef Hannah Ziskin. Hannah mentioned Beatrix Bakes, an Australian cookbook written by Natalie Paull when Emily asked her about writing her own cookbook. I had never heard of Beatrix and quickly purchased the book. A beautiful book layered with inspiring recipes.
I made the pistachio and lemon curd layer cake this past week and added blueberries (tis the season). There are several stages, so I went into the baking zone for a few hours—one of my favorite places to be.
What is nice about these cakes, you could put strawberry jam in the center and do a dollop or cover the top with whipped cream. They are very light and adaptable.
- 3.5 ounces raw unsalted pistachio nuts
- 9 ounces superfine sugar
- 5.5 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 8.5 ounces flour
- 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 9 ounces milk, at room temperature
- 3 ounces crushed raw unsalted pistachio nuts
Preheat the oven to 300. Lightly spray the sides of two 8″ deep cake tins with cooking spray. Line each bottom with parchment paper.
In a food processor, mix the pistachios with sugar until finely ground.
Put the butter and pistachio/sugar mix in the bowl of an electric standing mixer. Using the paddle attachment, on medium speed, mix for ten minutes, scraping down a few times. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat for another five minutes on medium.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat. Now take the bowl out using a sturdy spatula to fold in the rest. When it is almost folded in, add the milk and mix very thoroughly until their are no flour or milk streaks.
Divide the battery equally between the two tins, bake for 20-25 minutes. An inserted skewer should come out clean.
Set aside and let completely cool.
- 5.5 ounces lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
- 8 ounces superfine sugar
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 6 egg yolks, room temperature (set aside the whites for the meringue)
- 3 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature
- finely grated zest of one lemon
In a wide saucepan put in about two inches of water, bring to a low simmer. Using a heatproof bowl that will nestle in the saucepan without touching the water, add in the lemon juice, sugar and salt and whisk until combined. Then whisk in the egg yolks.
Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until the curd becomes thick and wobbly. It takes some time. Be patient. Once the curd becomes thick, take it off the heat and add the soft butter, a little bit at a time, until thoroughly mixed in, then add in the zest.
Scrape the mixture into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap pushing the plastic right on top of the lemon curd to prevent from forming a skin. Refrigerate for two hours.
- 4 egg whites (room temperature – 4.5 ounces)
- 6 ounces superfine sugar
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 9.5 ounces unsalted diced butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla.
Nestle the bowl from the standing mixture over a wide saucepan with two inches of simmering water. Put the egg white, ,sugar, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl and whisk together. Whisk until it gets hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Then place onto the standing mixer.
Using the whisk attachment, whip at a high speed for 5 minutes until this looks thick and glossy. While running, add the butter, two-three tablespoons at a time. The butter has to be warm and squishy or the buttercream will curdle. Whisk in the vanilla once all the butter is whisked in.
Put in a plastic container in the refrigerator.
MAKING THE CAKE:
Put on cake on the platter. Spread half the lemon curd over the top. I added blueberries on top of this. Then put on the second cake. Mix together the rest of the lemon curd and half of the meringue. I used all the meringue but not necessary. Now frost the entire cake. I added blueberries and crushed pistachios on top.
A serious labor of love but worth every minute. An insane win.