Greek Isle Pumpkin Pistacchio Cake is my adapted interpretation of a classic cake from the Greek island of Sifnos. This lowfat cake has no butter or oil, yet is soft and moist.
In the building where I live, we have an unofficial book giveaway. We have large windows with large windowsill’s. When people have books they want to give away, they place it on the windowsill. With 120 apartments in the building, the books are never there for more than 1-2 days, at most.
Whenever I see cookbooks, I always take them. After I look through them, they sometimes go back downstairs, but recently there was one that was full of so many delicious recipes to try. The Foods of the Greek islands focuses on the cuisine of the Greek Isles, including Cypress. Lots of coriander, anise, mint and fruit star in this Arab accented region of Greece.
Look forward to some delicious Greek Isle recipes in the coming months as I make my way through this book, albeit with my own slight twists and adaptations due to preference and availability of ingredients.
Kolokythopita is a savory pie made with phyllo, zucchini and feta. This sweet version from the Greek island of Sifnos is an adaptation of Kolokythopita.
I love pumpkin in both sweet and savory dishes. Everything from Pumpkin Pancakes to Pumpkin Curry makes me happy. I was super excited to try this Pumpkin Cake. Use calabaza or kabocha squash for the pumpkin. If these are not available, you can also use butternut squash, however it is not quite as naturally sweet as the other two.
It is usually made with almonds, but I am a person with nut allergies and though almond flour almond meal does not bother me, almonds themselves in large quantities I try to avoid. Pistacchios are one of the few nuts that no matter the quantity, I have no reaction to. I made this version with pistacchios instead of almonds in the original recipe. You can use almonds if you prefer.
No Butter or Oil Cake
This turned into a low fat cake by mistake. As I was following the recipe along with the book, somehow my eyes skipped over the olive oil and only after it was in the oven I thought wait a minute this cake did not have oil or butter – let me check the recipe again. Oops forgot to put the olive oil – well let’s wait and see because the consistency seemed fine.
I am so happy I forgot the olive oil. The pumpkin, honey and eggs created enough moisture that the oil seems redundant. The cake is soft and moist and oil would have added unnecessary richness to the cake. I love it when mistakes create new amazing recipes I would not have otherwise imagined.
No one will guess that this delicious cake is low fat too!
IN THE MAKING – HOW TOMAKE GREEK ISLE PUMPKIN PISTACCHIO CAKE
Greek Isle Pumpkin Pistacchio Cake
- 2 cups grated pumpkin
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups semolina
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 beaten eggs
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ ground cloves
- a pinch of black pepper
- ¾ cup dried currants
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped pistacchios
- In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin and sugar and leave to rest for 15 minutes. This will soften the pumpkin and add the necessary moisture.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Spray a 13x9 baking dish with non stick psray.
- Add semolina, baking powder, eggs and honey.
- Add cinnamon, cloves and pepper and mix to combine.
- Add currants and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Drizzle the brandy on top and sprinkle remaining pistacchios on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a tester inserted comes out clean.
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