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Pistachio polenta cake with poached rhubarb and lemon curd


Serves: 12
timePrep time: 1 hr 15 mins
timeTotal time:
Pistachio polenta cake with poached rhubarb and lemon curd
Recipe photograph by Nassima Rothacker

Pistachio polenta cake with poached rhubarb and lemon curd

This cake keeps well and is just as good with a cuppa for elevenses – any spare rhubarb is delicious with yogurt

Serves: 12
timePrep time: 1 hr 15 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
355Kcal
Fat
18gr
Saturates
3gr
Carbs
42gr
Sugars
34gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
7gr
Salt
0.2gr

Orwells Restaurant

Orwells Restaurant

Chefs Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman opened modern British restaurant Orwells in Binfield Heath, Oxfordshire, in 2010. Housed in an 18th-century former pub, Orwells was named 2017 Restaurant of the Year in the Good Food Guide Editors’ Awards, and holds four AA rosettes. Ryan and Liam, who married earlier this year, live above the restaurant
See more of Orwells Restaurant ’s recipes
Orwells Restaurant

Orwells Restaurant

Chefs Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman opened modern British restaurant Orwells in Binfield Heath, Oxfordshire, in 2010. Housed in an 18th-century former pub, Orwells was named 2017 Restaurant of the Year in the Good Food Guide Editors’ Awards, and holds four AA rosettes. Ryan and Liam, who married earlier this year, live above the restaurant
See more of Orwells Restaurant ’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 200g pistachio kernels
  • 65g fine polenta or cornmeal
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125ml olive oil, plus extra to grease
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
For the poached rhubarb
  • 100ml grenadine syrup
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 25g dried hibiscus flowers, optional
  • 400g rhubarb, thin stalks if possible
To serve
  • about 100g lemon curd (good quality curd from a jar is fine)
  • crème fraîche

Step by step

Get ahead
The poached rhubarb keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge. Leftover cake keeps in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen.
  1. Cook the rhubarb a couple of days ahead to get the best flavour. Preheat the oven to 120°C, fan 100°C, gas ½. Put the grenadine syrup and sugar in a pan with 750ml of water, adding the hibiscus flowers if using. Heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Slice the rhubarb into 7-8cm long chunks, cutting them on the diagonal. Place in a baking dish and pour over the flavoured syrup. Cover with a piece of crumpled baking paper so that the rhubarb is submerged. Bake for 10-20 minutes until the rhubarb feels just tender when pierced, but not too soft as it will carry on cooking in the syrup as it cools. Remove the dish from the oven. Once cool, cover and chill until needed.
  3. To make the cake, for the very best colour remove the skins from the pistachio kernels before grinding. Place them in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for a couple of minutes. Drain and slip off the skins, removing as much as you can. Spread the nuts out on a baking tray and pop in the oven for 5 minutes as it preheats to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4 for the cake (you just want them to dry out a little, not toast them). Cool the nuts then set aside 15g for decoration. Whizz the remaining pistachios in a food processor with the polenta, flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt until finely ground and well combined.
  4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin (or a 23cm round tin). Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer and whisk until they are thick and hold a ribbon when the whisk is lifted. Add the dry ingredients, folding in roughly a third at a time, then fold in the olive oil and the citrus zests and lemon juice. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out to cool on a wire rack. Finely chop the reserved pistachios to decorate.
  6. To plate up, make a swoosh of lemon curd across each plate then top with a nice slice of cake and a spoonful of créme fraîche. Decorate the plate with a few pieces of rhubarb, a drizzle of the rhubarb syrup and a sprinkling of finely chopped pistachios.

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