Pistachio Cake with Olive Oil Sorbet and Lemon Curd

As a huge fan of extra virgin olive oil (and, yes, Lucini in particular), I am always on the lookout for new presentations of this wonderful food.  Over the past year or so I noticed olive oil sorbet and gelato on a few menus (I am also a huge fan of window shopping menus) and have been waiting for the motivation (excuse?) to track down a recipe and give it a shot.  This blog turned out to be just the impetus I needed to get started.

The olive oil sorbet recipe makes use of the full profile of flavors found in a great extra virgin olive oil.  I prefer Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil here, because it complements and stands up to the other exciting tastes in the dish, particularly the fruit and lemon curd.  The three components are based on recipes by Gale Gand, Sam Mason and Thomas Keller.

The finished product.

The finished product.


1. Olive Oil Sorbet
2. Pistachio Cake
3. Lemon Curd
4. Strawberries (or Cherries, Blackberries, Blueberries, etc.)
5. Fresh Mint

1. Olive Oil Sorbet:
1 C      Water
3 TB   Granulated Sugar
4 TB   Honey
¼ tsp Salt
2 tsp   Lemon Zest
2 TB    Lemon Juice
1 ½ C  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1           Egg White

In a saucepan, combine Water, Sugar, Honey and Salt.  Bring to boil while whisking constantly.   Remove from heat, stirring in Lemon Zest and Juice. Add Olive Oil and emulsify with an immersion blender.  Add the egg white and stir.  Process in an ice cream maker according to instructions.  If you do not have an ice cream maker, freeze mixture in an airtight container, then remove and allow Sorbet to soften.



2. Pistachio Cake:

½ C      Unsalted, Shelled Pistachios (If you can only find salted pistachios, lightly rinse and dry thoroughly)
½ C       Flour
1 tsp      Baking Powder
½ tsp   Five Spice Powder (or Cinnamon, etc.)
1/8 tsp Salt
¼ C       Heavy Cream
¼ C       Unsalted Butter
½ C       Granulated Sugar
1             Egg
1             Egg White
1 TB       Orange Zest

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two ramekins with olive oil.

Pulse Pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, being careful not to make a paste. Add Flour, Baking Powder, Five Spice Powder and Salt. Pulse twice to mix.

Cream Butter and Sugar in mixer until pale. Add Egg and mix until incorporated. Add Egg White and mix until incorporated. Add one third of Pistachio mixture and mix. Add one half Cream and mix. Repeat until all of Pistachio mixture and Cream is added and just incorporated. Stir in Orange Zest.

Distribute mixture equally to the two ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife on outside of Cake to loosen from ramekin and remove.
Makes two cakes of two servings each.

3. Lemon Curd: (A great prepared Lemon Curd works well, too.)

¼ C   Unsalted Butter
2 TB   Creme Fraiche
1         Eggs
2         Egg Yolks
6 TB   Lemon Juice
6 TB  Granulated Sugar
1 tsp  Lemon Zest

Melt the Butter and the Creme Fraiche over a double boiler, stirring constantly. (If you don’t have a double boiler, simmer water in a saucepan and place a stainless steel bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the simmering water.) Remove top pan from heat and set aside.

In a bowl over a double boiler, whisk the Egg and the Egg Yolks just long enough to warm them.  Remove from heat and add the Butter mixture, stir to combine, then add the Lemon Juice and stir again.  Strain the mixture through a sieve into a new bowl and place over the simmering water.  Add the Sugar and Lemon Zest and whisk until warm to touch, about 4 minutes.

Place Cake (2) in the middle of the plate.  Add Curd (3) to the top of the cake and drizzle over the plate (about 2 TB total). Place a large quenelle of Sorbet (1) on one side of the cake and sliced Strawberries (4) on the other.  Garnish with Mint leaves (5).

You will have Curd and Sorbet left over for further use.


5 responses to “Pistachio Cake with Olive Oil Sorbet and Lemon Curd

  1. OMG. You even made it sound easy! Can’t wait to try the Lucini sorbet!

  2. The recipe is even easier than it looks. Also, the sorbet can be made a day ahead and then frozen and the curd last for at least a week. If you are pressed for time, there might be a tasty curb at your grocery!

  3. Nice sorbet recipe, worked a treat. Will be going in my recipe book of tricks. Thanks

  4. Glad you enjoyed it. I’ve been trying to think of a new team to surround that olive oil sorbet … It is one of my favorite ways to show off an olive oil.

  5. Thank’s for sharing with us about this great recipe

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