Apricot and Pistachio Cake (Κέικ-με-φιστίκια-και-βερίκοκα)


I have a pleasant surprise here for you all. I’m presenting you with a Greek dessert that’s not in my family’s recipe book, I’ve never personally heard of nor tried this cake…until now.

I’m also excited to present this cake for this month’s Royal Foodie Joust, hosted by Jenn the Leftover Queen. Think of it as our own Iron Chef but the twist here is that your dish must contain three ingredients, as chosen by the victor from the previous month.

For those interested, you have a few days yet in June to get your entry in.

This month’s challenge was to prepare a dish that contained butter, apricots and ginger.Check!

This recipe comes from a Greek cookbook I have called “Food of the World – Greece” and this cake uses some of Greece’s favourite ingredients and satisfies the criteria for this month’s Joust and most importantly, it tastes great!

There are three components to this easy cake: the cake itself, the syrup and the topping. Before I go on with the recipe I would like to add that I surprised my toughest food critic – my mom!

Her reaction after trying this cake? “Where did you get this recipe and write it down for me”!

Apricot and Pistachio Cake (Κέικ με φιστίκια και βερίκοκα)

1/2 cup dried apricots
zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 stick of unsalted butter (room temp.)
3/4 cup icing sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 2/3 cups fine semolina flour
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 cup ground almonds

For the Syrup
3/4 cup Greek honey
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tsp. lemon juice

For the Topping
1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt
2 Tbsp. icing sugar
couple of drops of almond extract
2/3 cup shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped

  1. The evening before you want to bake this cake, put the apricots, zest and orange in a bowl and allow to soak for at least 12 hours (in the fridge). It’s also good to place your yogurt in a mesh strainer(with a pot underneath to catch the water) and place that in the fridge overnight to strain.
  2. The next morning, pre-heat your oven to 35oF and grease and line a round, 9 inch(23 cm) loose-bottomed cake pan. Transfer the apricots and juice to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light & fluffy. Add the egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the semolina and ground almonds and mix well together and now add the semolina and ground almonds and mix well together. Fold in apricot puree.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff then fold into the batter mixture. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is a light, golden brown.
  5. In the meantime, make the syrup by adding the orange juice, honey and lemon juice into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Keep the syrup just hot.
  6. When has baked, let it stand in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack (with a plate underneath). Prick the top of the cake all over with a skewer and then spoon over the the hot syrup over the warm cake and leave on the wire rack to cool.
  7. When the cake has cooled and all the syrup has been absorbed, place in the fridge until ready to serve. When you’re ready to serve the cake, bring to room temperature and mix the icing sugar and almond extract with the strained yogurt.
  8. Spread the yogurt over the cake and top with the chopped pistachio nuts.

© 2008 – 2010,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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70 Comments for “Apricot and Pistachio Cake (Κέικ-με-φιστίκια-και-βερίκοκα)”

Leslie

says:

I hope you didnt use those lovley Red Pistachios that stain your finger all nasty red!LOL My dad always used to eat those when I was a kid! Maybe he never saw the unstained ones in the store or something???Who knows!!

Jessy and her dog Winnie

says:

Your cake looks delicious! I bet the combination of flavors was amazing!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This is a masterpiece, Peter. No wonder your mom was so impressed, so am I!!!!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

says:

That cake looks just wonderful, Peter! The flavor combination sounds great and the texture is beautiful. Well done!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI

says:

this looks moister than a carrot cake – i wonder if fresh apricots would work in it (for when we have our glut of fresh ones from our tree)

jodimop

says:

This is not fair ok? It is morning and I haven’t had breakfast and you do this to me? Shame on you!

Jan

says:

I’m not a cake eater but that could convert me! It looks fantastic!
PS: Don’t forget you were tagged!!

joanne at frutto della passione

says:

Wow, I remember the first time my mom asked me for a recipe, it was amazing. I love the flavour combinations, the citrus really puts it over the top for me.

Anonymous

says:

It seems that you are bulls#$&&(*g the whole world. Why don’t you mention the Greek Cook Book and this is probably your mom’s work as are most of your recipes.

Maria

says:

Looks delicious, Peter. I bet the contrast of moist cake, crunchy pistachio and chewy apricot was delicious. I might sub out the powdered ginger for some rosewater (or reduce the quantity), as I find it overwhelming in baked goods sometimes.

Peter M

says:

Leslie, I hated those red pistachios, and I haven’t seen them around in years.

Jessy, indeed it was.

Marie, I’m going to have a wedge with my Greek coffee.

Nina, not sure about the masterpiece but it was a easy to make and a delight to eat.

Sticky, thanks so much…I’ll enjoy making this again & again.

Maria, not sure…the recipe didn’t offer any provision for using fresh apricots.

Ioanna, I see that you’re having breakfast a little late today…I offer you 2 pieces!

Jan, you don’t like desserts? Tick-tock…almost vacation time!

Joanne, I was worried when I presented her with the cake and then exhaled when the she beamed!

Hello Anonymous..how are you shy person? Why don’t you post a comment in full view of who you are? Everyone…please give a warm welcome to my #1 fan! LOL

Maria, the ginger was subtle but you could sub another flavour of your choosing.

Ruth Elkin

says:

This cake looks awesome! Love the idea of the nuts and apricot combo. Good luck in the joust!

Dhanggit

says:

Oh Sir Peter, what a splendid cake you have here, truly worhty of it nobility…i’ll be definitely voting for you :-)

such a great entry for royal food joust

Bellini Valli

says:

Excellent entry for this months Joust Peter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a sure winner:D

Susan/Wild Yeast

says:

Oh my goodness. I’m not usually much for baking cakes (eating’s another story) but you’ve won me with this one — I’m not going to wait around for someone to bake it for me!

Natashya

says:

Mmmm, that looks delicious. I would like to have that for breakfast. Coffee’s made and I’m hungry.
I look forward to learning more about Greek food.

Lori Lynn

says:

What a fun concept. I love the idea of picking three ingredients.
Your cake looks fabulous. I’ll take my piece with a cup of black coffee, too, thank you.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

says:

This absolutely sounds like the best dessert EVER. I just love every single component! I think you have a real winner here, Peter! Best of luck in the Joust! :)
I think I am gonna have to make this one of these days and soon!

Fearless Kitchen

says:

This looks delightful, Peter! I love pistachios, and the apricots and almonds would be just fabulous.

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining

says:

Oh Peter that looks and sounds so good!!! I think this might be real hard to beat!!! Good luck in the Joust.

Sandie

says:

Ok… while shamelessly NOT working, I sit here eating pistachios, honest engine – I found them on sale yesterday $2.99 off (I stocked up) thinking, “Hey, I’ve got plenty of pistachios on hand AND these other ingredients. I could so make this…”

Grace

says:

if you don’t win the joust with this glorious concoction, i’ll be floored. cakey, crunchy, sweet, salty, and oh-so-moist–i’m super impressed. bravo!

Peter M

says:

Dharm, I’m learing and as I gather little successes like this, I’ll bake more.

Ruth, it’s fruity, nutty & cakey! Thanks for the wishes.

Now, Now Dhanngit, there will be no Sirs here…my dad’s a Sir!

Val, I’ve learned nothing’s sure in the Joust, always tough competition.

Susan, as a novice baker – I found this cake to come together rather easily.

Natashya, you’ll eat Greek vicariously through here and perhaps get the urge to try a dish or two!

Lori Lynn, you can join the forum, vote and even sneak in an entry b4 month’s end.

Jenn, c’mon…you’re flattering but there are better desserts but I think this one’s great for the Joust.

Fearless, I’ll make this for relatives in Greece – they’ll dig this.

Sandie, we all have “slacker” days…I won’t tell the boos. ;)

Hi Bagel, welcome and good luck to you in the Joust.

Grace, with your vote, I might just get there…catch a bribe piece.

christey

says:

WOOOOOW that looks gooooood. like really really good.
That will be mine next weekend (on stupid no carb bit till get rid of last few lbs this week bah!)

familiabencomo

says:

Wow! This looks amazing. I will definitely make this one soon. How nice that you can share one of your recipes with sweet mom.

xoxox Amy

Paula

says:

I found your blog via Marjie’s. This cake looks lovely. Since I enjoy eating yogurt, honey, and pistachio nuts occasionally for breakfast(it’s a great trio, really!), this cake would kick it up a notch! Also, the lemon linguine in the prior post looks wonderful, too.

Gloria

says:

Peter!!! dear Im without words!!! This look amazing and soooo yummy!!! I like a piece please Peter!!!!!! xxxxGloria

Anonymous

says:

Hi Peter! Congratulations 4ur blogg! I found it via Gloria and liked it a lot! I love this Apricot cake, I’ll borrow the recipe from you for the winter as I think it’s a bit too heavy 4the Spanish summer ;-P Although I must confess… I’ve made as well a quite heavy Raspberry Cheesecake 2celebrate tomorrow my already birthday? (yeah! here it’s 0h55 on Friday 27th) Yours looks delicious, I wish you the best 4the Joust, I’m sure you’ll win! xxNat;-)

Elly

says:

Whoa! That is one beautiful cake, Peter. I am drooling. I am SUCH a sucker for pistachios. I admit I prefer most other dried fruits over apricot but this still looks great. I think it would be awesome with some raisins or figs. Mmm.

cookinpanda

says:

Wow, this is truly fabulous! It contains so many great ingredients that I can’t imagine it not pleasing.

I’m still scrambling to get my June entry in. This one will be very tough to beat.

Cynthia

says:

I would give anything to enjoy a slice of that cake. As usual Peter, your art is outstanding.

Anna

says:

3 little letters: OMG!

this is exactly the kind of cake i love. sticky, nutty and fruity.

i am very jealous of the people who get to eat the food you make. it always looks so good!

Sylvia

says:

OMG , Peter looks absolutely divine, sticky and nuty. After eat it I sure I will be in heaven

aforkfulofspaghetti

says:

I’m certainly bookmarking this recipe, Peter. Apricots and pistachios? What a wonderful combination for a summer cake!

Patricia Scarpin

says:

You are an amazing cook and an amazing baker as well, Pete – that cake is truly fantastic!
I’m glad you not only shared the recipe with mom but also with us, tks!

the_J

says:

Finally, a nice Greek-y cake that doesn’t use those dreaded Walnuts! I’m totally trying this one out on my giagiades!

Peter M

says:

Thank you Sylvie!

Christey, you and your guests will enjoy it – alot!

Amy, I’m sure you will and just like the last dish you made (giouvetsi), this will equally be enjoyed.

Elena, ela – exo ena kommatai gia sena.

Hi Paula and welcome. Have a look around, comment and enjoy!

Gloria, I wish we lived closer so I could invite over for coffee & cake.

Hi Nat and thanks so much. Feel free to add to the comments, try out a few and as always – feedback is encouraged.

Elly, I think the dried figs in this would work wonderfully, great idea!

Panda, you have a few days to get in…good luck to you too!

Cynthia, thank you my dear…I pale in comparison to you.

LOL @ Anna…thanks…it was a pleasant surprise when 1st biting into this and discovering it was in fact delish!

Forkful…you’ll have a lot of bookmarked dishes to catch up on when that kitchen’s ready.

Parker, that’s it…crunchy and cake-like.

Patricia, food is about sharing…that’s just what I’m doing here.

Pam

says:

You have completely outdone yourself! Absolutely gorgeous! You can see how moist it is. I want to make this, even more than that, I want someone to make this for me!

Lisa

says:

Outstanding! Simply outstanding. No words are needed. Your recipe and pictures are all that is necessary.

maybelles parents

says:

delicious. but, i must ask, any idea about the history of this cake? i once did a school project (more than a decade ago so it is hazy) about the food of the ancient greeks, focusing on Athens. This sort of reminds me of the dense cakes they enjoyed. Anyway, great entry. I bet you have a win.

Cakelaw

says:

I love the fact that when you do desserts, they are just as good as your savoury dishes. This cake looks devine. One word – YUM!

farida

says:

Peter, this looks absolutely fantastic! I loved the recipe! You used some ingredients I love a lot – Greek yogurt, pistachios, dried apricots among many. Yum!

Susan from Food Blogga

says:

This looks outrageously delicious, Peter. And I could just eat the syrup by the spoonful.

Sam Sotiropoulos

says:

wow! peter, you have outdone yourself with this one! I have never heard of or seen such a cake before! Just wonderful, and what a medley of flavours… as for the comment by the anonymous bimbo above, let’s just say that I know better… :) Good job!

Peter M

says:

Pam, it really isn’t a hard cake to make but yeah…the look of it is stunning.

Lisa, I should have just posted the photo with the recipe and “yum”…the minimalist blog entry.

Maybelle, I’ve never seen nor heard of this cake other until viewing it in this cookbook. No mention of it’s origin or the region it came from in Greece.

Cake, I’m lagging in desserts but I’m trying to remedy the ratio, thanks – you’re very kind.

Farida, this cake celebrates greek ingredients very much, true.

Yanni, thanks and welcome…it was a delight to make and eat.

Susan, I did taste the syrup…you’re right..good enough to eat on it’s own.

Sam, this cake did stand out as I too never saw this in any other Greek cookbooks. As for the anonymous commenter, it’s irony that they still still visit my blog and I get paid for traffic to my blog…I thank you, anonymous one!

Meeta

says:

just this morning i was looking for a recipe for an apricot cake and this looks too good. i absolutely love pistachios so this really does appeal to me.

berdots

says:

Peter, I love getting your recipes but I cannot eat wheat – do you have any tricks up your sleeves for wheat substitutes? Berdots

CaliforniaKat

says:

I should never visit your blog when I’m hungry! Seriously. Everything looks so good

Anonymous

says:

This looks amazing!! Got to try this recipe!

Do you take all your own photos of the food? It sure looks appetizing!:)

Miss Diane

says:

That cake looks wonderful as I love this association of apricot and pistachios. I made a clafoutis with these ingredients and it was simply delicioux.