Annie Bell’s apple, pistachio and cardamom cake recipe


Cardamom and pistachio subtly infuse this apple biscuit. One of the secrets to apple pie with lots of fruit is to fry the fruit first, which seals in the juice and prevents it from seeping into the crumb.

Chris Alack


5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
2 dessert apples, p. ex. granny smith, peeled, quartered, seeded and diced
2 medium eggs
125g soft light brown sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
6 cardamom pods, split and ground
125g wholemeal spelled flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder, sifted
50g pistachios (25g ground, 25g chopped), plus extra chopped for garnish
50g peach or apricot jam
Greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush a 1lb nonstick loaf pan with oil and line the base with parchment paper.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium nonstick skillet over low heat and sauté the diced apples for 4-5 minutes until translucent but not colored, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl or plate and set aside.
  3. Using an electric whisk, beat together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and cardamom in a large bowl for 2 minutes, until pale, thick and doubled in volume. Stir in the remaining oil, then stir in the flour, baking powder and ground pistachios.
  4. Fold the apple and chopped pistachios into the cake mix and transfer it to the pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until risen and firm and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Run a knife around the edge of the cake, let stand 10 minutes then unmold on a wire rack to cool, putting it the right way round.
  6. Gently heat the jam in a small saucepan until it loosens, then press it through a sieve and brush it over the top of the cake. Spread a few finely crushed pistachios and let cool for about 30 minutes. The cake will keep well overnight, lightly covered. It is especially good served with a dollop of Greek yogurt or fresh cream.

Food styling: Clare Lewis. Stylist: Sue Radcliffe

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