lemon yogurt blueberry pistachio pound cake
This is a recipe makeover. Ani spotted the original in Bon Appetit (bob is a
20 year subscriber by this point) and together a few health conscious changes
and flavor upgrades came of joint conferencing between the participating
cooking team team members. The team has been big on blueberries this year,
discovering dried blueberries to substitute overpriced out of season fresh
blueberries for daily breakfast intake (and it's one of 14 super foods!), while
bob has become a whole grain crusader.
Splenda came onto the scene as a possibly healthier alternative to existing sugar
substitutes already on the market, or maybe it was just a clever marketing
campaign that really worked well. We first tried half Splenda and half natural
turbinado sugar and then went 100% Splenda to see if it would stand up to the
hype in the baking arena. Whole wheat pastry flour was another recent find but
it remained unclear whether wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour is better
for baking. We pretended it did not matter and went with the pastry flour since
it was on hand. Nuts are also good for us, and make quick breads and pound cake
tastier. Ani is partial to pistachios, and there were some aging bags in the
cupboard that were just not going away, so we volunteered them as a flavor
upgrade to keep the blueberries company while the latter were providing a high
color contrast with the lemon yellow cake in which they're imbedded. Later we
tried mixed dried berries from Trader Joes: blueberries, cranberries and
strawberries, also good. We kept making this cake repeatedly. Must be a keeper
The original recipe was plain, how boring. Although it did have a marmalade
[= jam for us regular folks]
glaze, which we vetoed. As for ingredient ratios we finally settled on half all-purpose flour, half whole wheat pastry flour since 100 % of the latter made the
cake a bit dense, and half and half Splenda and turbinado (or regular) sugar too
since we did not do independent testing of the ratios.
- dry stuff
- 1 1/2 c all purpose flour [we do 3/4 white, 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour]
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t salt
- wet stuff
- 1 c plain yogurt [she said whole milk, we use nonfat yogurt]
- 1 c sugar [we use half turbinado sugar and half Splenda sugar substitute]
- 3 large eggs [we use happy chicken eggs]
- 1 t packed finely grated lemon peel
- 1/4 t vanilla extract
- 1/2 c vegetable oil [canola oil is healthier than generic veggie oil]
add-ins [our addition]
- 1 c raw pistachios
- 1 c dried or frozen blueberries or mixed dried blueberries, strawberries
- glaze [our subtraction]
- 1/4 c lemon or orange marmalade
- 1 t water
- Preheat oven to 350° F after centering a rack
vertically in it. [Ours is close enough, a little low though not centered.]
- Butter and flour a 8.5x4.5x2.5 inch nonstick
loaf pan. [We use that easy new cooking spray with flour product, although its
residue seems to stick tenaciously to the top edges of the pan even through
vigorous scrubbing. Hmm, food for thought. Traces of serendipitously formed
- Sift the dry stuff into a medium bowl.
- Combine the wet stuff, except for the oil, in
a large bowl and whisk until well blended.
- Slowly whisk in the dry stuff.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the oil.
- Fold in the add-ins.
- Transfer the batter to the waiting pan and
place on a baking sheet and then into the oven.
- Bake about 50 minutes until the cake begins
to pull away from the edges and passes the cake test: insert thin knife or
tooth pick into the center and if it comes out "clean", pull the cake,
otherwise give it some more time.
- Cool on a rack 5 minutes and then make sure
the sides are loose and turn it over onto the rack to remove from the pan.
- We never even considered doing the marmalade
topping: stir marmalade and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until
it melts, then brush the hot mixture over the top of the cake and let it cool
and set. Maybe we should try it one day.
- Slice crosswise to serve. [Duh...is there any
other way to slice pound cake?]
- Bon Appetit, February 2005, p.91.
"When French women bake", by American expatriate Dorie Greenspan.
- Illustrations available.