Sicilian Trifle Lemon Cake with Pistachio Creme

For photos, this recipe was featured on Design Sponge and can be seen here

serves a crowd

you will need two 9-inch cake pans and one 8 or 9-inch glass Trifle Bowl

for the lemon cakes:

about two tablespoons of butter and a little flour for dusting the cake pans 1⁄2 cup almond flour
1⁄2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature 11⁄2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 lemons, zested and juiced 1⁄2 cup whole milk

for the Pistachio Creme:

1 cup raw unsalted pistachios 1⁄4 cup sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup mascarpone cheese

for the Whipped Cream layer:

2 cups heavy whipping cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

You will also need: 1⁄8 cup limoncello


1⁄8 cup raw unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prepare two 9-inch cake pans: Cut a parchment paper circle to fit the bottom of a 9- inch round cake pan. Melt the two tablespoons of butter and brush a little of the bottom of your pans. Place the parchment paper circles on the bottom of your pans and then brush the rest of the butter all over the paper and the sides of the pan. Add a little flour and coat everything, the sides and bottom, shaking the pans til everything is well coated and then tap out the excess. (You can also just butter and

flour the pans if you like - I like using baking parchment to make sure the cakes release perfectly.)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Make the cakes:

Mix the flours and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together with a mixer until very white and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and juice, and milk and blend. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 20-25 minutes, just until the middle is set and top is turning slightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Invert cakes onto wire rack and let completely cool.

Make the Pistachio Creme:

Grind the nuts and sugar in a food processor until fine. Add the lemon zest and pulse. Add the lemon juice and pulse. Add the mascarpone cheese and pulse until smooth. Do not refrigerate the pistachio creme, so that it remains at room temperature and is spreadable when assembling the cake. (If you are not going to assemble the cake until much later, then refrigerate and bring to room temperature before assembling.)

Make the Whipped Cream:

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue whipping until stiff. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the Cake:

After the cakes have completely cooled, trim one cake to fit the bottom of the trifle bowl. (Some trifle bowls are slanted so that the bottom is smaller than the top, some are not. If yours is slanted, your bottom cake layer will need to be smaller - just trim it to fit.) Reserve the cake trimmings for the topping.

Brush the cake with half of the limoncello. Spoon half of the pistachio creme on top of the cake and smooth level, using the back of the spoon. Spoon half of the whipped cream on top.

Trim the next cake layer to fit, if you need to. Place on top of the whipped cream and brush this cake layer with remaining limoncello. Spoon remaining pistachio cream on top and smooth. Spoon remaining whipped cream on top. Crumble some cake trimmings on top. Sprinkle coarsely chopped pistachios on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve - hopefully, with little shots of limoncello!

The Italian Dish