Each work day this past 2 weeks I’ve been up before dawn. I hop on my bike, peddle through the soft grey morning light and float down the newly lilac scented streets toward the train. The train takes me south over the river, where the first blush of day has quietly begun to arrive downstream; Jose Gonzalez plays in my head. There is no dazzling light, only a peachy pink, citrus glow along the horizon, as if Bob Ross had painted it there, between the happy little green trees that run along the waters edge. In those few moments, I’m not tired and I never have been.
Then I’m between skyscrapers, a guy with a bag of cans is asking me how much my bike cost, he’s predicting the weather (he was right, by the way, it didn’t snow last week like the weather channel said it would) and I realize I forgot to brush my teeth. The spell is broken and my day has officially begun.
Before I forget to mention it, pound cake is okay to eat for breakfast. It’s totally different from regular cake because…it’s in loaf form…yep, let’s go with that. I mean you eat it with a cup of tea and you can drink tea in the morning so…I’m not selling this very well.
How about this? If you’re looking for a little spark in your morning and you absolutely refuse to wake up with me at 4:30 to watch the sun rise, eat a piece of this pistachio citrus pound cake for breakfast. It’s tart lime drizzle and fresh flavours are an aurora for the taste buds.
Pistachio Citrus Pound Cake
Nonstick vegetable oil spray or butter for greasing pan
2 cups all- purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh grapefruit juice
2 tsp finely grated grapefruit zest
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Position a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325° Fahrenheit. Coat a 9x5x3” loaf pan with nonstick spray or softened butter. Dust pan with flour and tap out the excess.
In a medium bowl, whisk 2 cups flour, salt, and baking powder. Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, beat butter on medium speed until it’s light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. You may also use and electric handheld mixer for this. Add sugar and beat until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture, beating well between each addition. Add juices and zests; beat until well combined (mixture will look curdled), about 3 minutes. Now add the dry ingredients and reduce speed to low beating just until blended. You may also choose to fold the dry ingredient in by hand. Do not over mix! Fold in 3/4 cup of the chopped pistachios. Pour batter into prepared pan and out the smooth top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup pistachios over the batter.
Bake cake, and rotate halfway through. When your test stick comes out clean from the centre of the cake it’s done, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. Run a sharp knife around sides and release cake from pan.
Keeps in an air tight container in the fridge for 2-4 days.
Lime Drizzle (fo shizzle)
1 cup icing sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Zest of half a lime
In a small bowl mix together the icing sugar and lime juice (you may need more icing sugar or more juice - look for a consistency that will run off your spoon but won’t spread so much that it all becomes one pile of icing). Mix in lime zest.
After the pound cake has cooled and is on the serving dish, drizzle lime icing across the top making a pretty pattern. Allow it to run off the sides for good coverage.
Slice and serve.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Photos by Maggie Murphy