Welcoming Ramadan with sweet and lovely honey and pistachio cake / Medaus ir pisacijų pyragas

Today is the first day of a holy Islamic month Ramadan. So it happens I live in Turkey and cannot ignore local traditions, that is after the sunset to gather around the table for iftar ( meal after fast). Traditionally iftar is started with some dates and followed by loads of appetizers, main dishes and dessert. That is why I decided to welcome Ramadan with the cake made from all local ingredients. Originally I found the recipe in Jamie Oliver's latest book 'Jamie Does' Greek food section. But it was so similar to Turkish yogurt and semolina cake, that I gave it a try! Absolutely lovely and moist cake, perfect with seasonal fruit, ice-cream or fresh yogurt! Great for afternoon tea or as a part of iftar dessert!

Honey and pistachio cake

( adapted from Jamie Oliver's book Jamie Does)

What we need:

For the sponge:

5 large eggs
225ml natural yogurt
225 gr sugar
75 gr ground almonds
zest of 1 lemon and orange
150gr of flour
200gr semolina
2 teaspoons of baking powder
200ml of mild olive oil

For the topping:

150gr shelled pistachios
150 gr runny honey

To serve:

seasonal fruit or berries ( I used figs as they are at their best in August, but Jamie Oliver suggests using strawberries)
Yogurt ( I would suggest using yogurt or a lovely scoop of vanilla ice-cream)

What we have to do:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2. Mix all the sponge ingredients in a large bowl. Grease a cake tin with a little olive oil, then dust over a sprinkling of flour and shake the tin about. Spoon in the sponge mixture from the bowl and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
3. Put the cake into the hot oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and cooked through. When done, remove from the oven and put it aside to cool for about half an hour.

4. When you are about to serve the cake, toast pistachios in a dry saucepan over a low to medium heat. Once they start to get colour, use a rolling pin to gently crush a few of them. Add the honey to the pan and give it a good stir. Squeeze the juice of zested orange and lemon, then boil for 1-2 minutes.
5. Stab the cake all over with a small knife to create holes for the syrup to sink into, then pour the pistachios and syrup all over the top and use the back of the spoon to smooth and spread it out. Leave for 15 min or longer for the syrup to be soaked up.
6. While it's still warm, slice your cake and serve with some chopped fruit and a good dallop of yogurt on the side! Heaven!

Medaus pyragas su pistacijom


5 dideli kiaušiniai
225ml naturalaus jogurto
225 gr cukraus
75 gr maltų migdolų
tarkuoto apelsino ir citrinos žievelė
150gr miltų
200gr manų kruopų
2 arb.š. kepimo miltelių
200ml alyvuogių aliejaus


150gr pistacijų
150 gr skysto medaus


šviežių vaisių ir ledų arba naturalaus jogurto ar grietinėlės


Įkaitinkite orkaitę iki 180C. Dubenyje sumaišykite jogurtą, kiaušinius, cukrų, migdolus, žieveles, miltus, kepimo miltelius ir alyvuogių aliejų iki vientisos masės. Apvalią kepimo formą ištepkite aliejumi ir apibarstykite miltais. Sudėkite tešlą ir išlyginkite paviršių. Kepkite 25-30 min. Tada atvėsinkite.

Prieš pateikiant, puode paskrudinkite pistacijas, kai jos pradės rusti, supilkite medų. Supilkite apelsino ir citrinos sultis ( nuo kurių nutarkavote žievelę) ir pamašius pavirkite 2-3 min.

Subadykite pyragą pagaliuku. Užpilkite medaus sirupu ir leiskite susigerti kelias minutes. 
Pateikite su vaisiais ir ledais. Skanaus!

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  1. Jolita,
    I love this recipe so much & I so want to include it my Stonyfield recipe battle. Unfortunately the contest is open to US residents only. xo

  2. Marla, I posted the recipe just for fun on your facebook page. I don't have to be part of the contest! Thanks for visiting!

  3. This looks so fantastic! We can't get pistachios in Sri Lanka and the husband doesn't like honey, so I'll likely make it with treacle and cashews instead, and no doubt, it'll still be great. Thanks for the recipe. :)


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