Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Oh Molly I've fallen for you and your pistachio and honeyed apricot cake.

Pistachio and honeyed apricot cake

As an avid Orangette fan I was excited to read Molly Wizenberg’s food memoir “a homemade life”. It’s the story of her life to date and the recipes that have intersected it. It’s such a beautiful read and so touching in parts. I think I may have even had a wee tear in my eye at one stage. I would just like to state that this is not normal behaviour for me, I’m normally ‘ard as nails hailing from Glasgow and all that.

If I am being completely honest quite a few of the recipes didn’t entirely appeal to me. An example of this would be ranch dressing and caraway seed potato salad. However, this pistachio and honey apricot cake recipe plus her incredible ability to convey the nuances of people, time and place in prose more than compensates. As I’ve written before food has nostalgic and comforting dimensions and it is this that Molly captures so beautifully. Although this book is sorrowful in places overall it is a really charming read filled with warmth. Who needs prozac when you’ve got this and pistachio and honeyed apricot cake?


It’s a nice dessert cake. I’m not going to lie and say it is the best cake in the history of  all desserts but it does fill me with exotic imagery and was certainly good enough for me to eat 3 slices in one afternoon. If anyone would like my copy of  Molly’s book just leave a comment to say so and I can post it on. First one wins. Whoop: my first blog competition!

Pistachio and honeyed apricots cake batter

Pistachio and honeyed apricot cake
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s “a Homemade Life”

Oven set to 170 degrees c
Grease and flour a 9 inch round tin – I used a springform tin and it seemed to work pretty well.

100g raw pistachios very finely ground
150g plan flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
½ cup of milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
110g unsalted butter at room temperature
220g caster sugar
3 large eggs
5 apricots
1tbsp runny honey

Combine the milk and vanilla in one bowl.
Combine the flour, nutmeg, salt and baking powder in another bowl.
In a third bowl mix the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter and sugar mixture whisking well after each egg.
To this mixture add a third of the flour, mix with a wooden spoon and add a third of the milk mixture then stir.
Continue this process until all the batches are in the cake batter.
Pour the cake batter into the tin.
Half the apricots and place them in the batter cut side up.
Add some honey into the centre of each apricot.
Bake for 35 minutes or so until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes and then turn out on to a cooling rack to cool completely.



  1. Drats Anonymous, you got there first! I'm going to have to get my own copy, thank you Iona for the recommendation.

  2. This looks like a beautifully delicate cake. Sorry i missed out on the giveaway - hopefully you'll do another one soon! :-)

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  4. Hi! I've been reading you recently. I love Molly Wizenberg. You know what? I might have cried a little bit too. I have tried a few Molly's recipes ones with more success than others but that girl knows how to write about food!

  5. Hi Imra, thanks for finding me! She sure can write, a real inspiration. I cant wait for her next book.