If you buy shelled pistachios, check to see if they are already salted. If so, you might not need to add the salt indicated in the recipe. Adapted from Classical Turkish Cooking by Ayla Algar; published in the Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2018.
Prep Time: 30 mins Elapsed Time ~ 2 hours Serves: 8
Butter for cake pan
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
3 eggs, separated
2/3 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Confectioner's sugar for topping (optional)
1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 1/2-inch springform pan. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit bottom of pan; butter parchment.
2. Preheat over to 350 F, toast pistachios (if not already toasted) on baking sheet til crisp, about 10 minutes. (Not necessary if nuts are pre-shelled and toasted). Transfer to food processor or electric spice mill and grind to a powder.
3. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground pistachios, baking powder, and salt if used.
4. In large bowl, beat egg yolks with 1/3 cup sugar until thick and pale yellow. Add yogurt and beat in, then add olive oil and beat again. Fold dry ingredients into egg-yogurt mixture,using silicon spatula and mixer if needed to make sure batter is thoroughly blended. Clean beaters for use in next step.
5. In clean medium bowl, beat egg whites to a froth. Add remaining 1/3 cup sugar and continue beating until whites are stiff and glossy. Use spatula to stir about one-quarter of beaten egg whites into batter to lighten it. Gently fold in remaining whites in similar batches, making sure ingredients are distributed evenly.
6. Pour batter into prepared pan and transfer to oven. Bake until cake pulls slightly away from sides of pan (about 40-50 minutes). Test with toothpick until no "raw" batter clings to toothpick.
7. Cool cake thoroughly (about 15-20 minutes.) Remove sides of pan. Gently transfer cake to serving plate and top with sifted confectioner's sugar.