Pistachio Cake – a Delicious Gluten Free Cake Based on Polish Mazurek
In Poland, like probably in so many other countries, special holidays or celebrations have not only traditions associated with them but also food prepared especially for these occasions. Some of the dishes we, of course, enjoy at other times as well but few are exclusive only to those holidays. And a cake called Mazurek, baked especially for Easter is one example.
Mazurek is a thin cake beautifully decorated with dried fruits, nuts, sprinkles or icing. And these are the only common features of all Mazurek’s. But there are many differences between the various types. Some of them are similar to tarts: a shortcrust pastry base with a topping (jam, marmalade, homemade fudge) and icing. Another consist of two layers of pastry (shortcrust and sponge) “glued” with jam or jelly. Some are rectangular in shape, others – oval.
The below Pistachio Cake recipe is based on a delicious walnut Mazurek. In this case, there is no shortcrust base, but there is a lovely topping instead that adds a different texture to the spongy but pretty heavy cake. The original, traditional recipe uses ground walnuts and a bit of plain flour. I decided to use pistachios and rice flour. Why? Because I love pistachios and their green colour matches up with spring and Easter. Additionally, I wanted to bake a gluten free cake, that’s the reason why I used rice flour. But if you are not concerned about gluten, plain flour is probably a slightly better option as the rice flour makes the cake a bit drier although it is still delicious. And even though I have written above that Mazurek is typical for Easter, I think this one is too good to be enjoyed only once per year!
Pistachio Cake Mazurek
Delicious gluten free cake based on a Polish recipe for Mazurek.
Servings 12 pieces
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Cover a small (approx. 20x30cm) rectangle baking tray with parchment paper and preheat an oven to 180C.
Beat the butter with sugar until pale and fluffy.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
Mix the ground pistachios and flour and stir into the beaten butter.
Add half of the whisked egg whites to the pistachio mixture and stir to loosen it up, then add the rest of the egg whites and stir again, this time very gently to keep as much air as possible.
Pour the butter into the prepared tray and bake approx. 30 min. until a stick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake is in the oven prepare the top: beat the egg yolks with sugar until pale and fluffy (3-5 min.); stir in the potato starch.
When the cake is baked, take it out from the oven and immediately spread the egg yolk mixture on top and decorate with pistachios if you wish.
Put it back in the oven for 5-7 min (until the top is baked).