Pistachio Ice-Cream & Grapefruit Pistachio Upside-down Cake

Have you noticed how much I like pistachio…?

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This wasn’t my first attempt at ice-cream… I tried to make a small amount with some leftover ingredients once, but each time I took the ice-cream from the freezer to ‘churn’ it, it was replaced with a little less… I don’t think it was fully frozen before there was nothing left… There wasn’t much to begin with, honestly!

So this was my first real attempt, and well, I wouldn’t recommend it without an ice-cream maker!


OK, maybe I would recommend it – it was kind of amazing – but with warnings… be prepared to babysit your ice-cream for at least 3 hours…

As for the cake – I’m not sure what it was that first inspired this cake, but I had been wanting to make a nutty upside-down cake for quite a while before I came up with this one.


It was made with my sister-in-law in mind – she’d requested something citrusy, and as I knew she had a penchant for grapefruit juice I thought I’d give grapefruit cake a try… something a little different from your regular orange and lemon.

The grapefruit flavour was there, although much more subtle than an orange or a lemon cake. I put this down to the zest, it may have just been my fruit, but I found the grapefruit zest didn’t pack as much punch flavour-wise as some of it’s other citrus siblings. It’s very bitter, but it’s great in the cake, promise!

I’ve made this cake a few times since, but deemed the pictures un-blog-worthy (not the cake!). Really, it’s just not a particularly pretty cake, but I’m going to share it nonetheless!


Grapefruit & Pistachio Upside-down Cake

Yield: one 8″ cake



60g almond meal
200g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
8g (1 1/2 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
240g (1 cup + 1 Tbsp) caster sugar
5g (1 tsp) salt
100g butter (softened slightly)
4 eggs
1 pink grapefruit (rind & 100ml juice)
50ml rice bran oil
60ml greek yoghurt


I pink grapefruit (100ml juice only)
140g brown sugar
120g butter
130g pistachios (roughly chopped)


Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4, and grease an 8 inch cake tin with butter (I also lined the base with baking paper).

Start with the topping – melt the butter in a saucepan with the grapefruit juice and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes (or until sauce has thickened slightly).

Spread the chopped pistachios over the base of your pan, then spoon the sauce over the top, taking care not to displace the pistachios too much. Set aside while you make the cake.

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Tip: Place the tin with the topping mixture in the freezer while you prepare the cake, this will make pouring the cake batter onto the topping easier, and will prevent the two from mixing together too much.

Sift the flour and bicarb soda into a bowl, then stir in the sugar, salt, and almond meal.

Add the butter to the flour mixture in cubes – the butter should be soft, but still firm to the touch. Beat the mixture until you are left with a fine crumb, then set aside.


In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, grapefruit juice and rind, oil and greek yoghurt, then beat into the flour mixture.

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Take your cake tin from the freezer, and if it is set, just pour the batter on top. If it is still quite runny, then gently spoon the mixture over the topping.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until cake skewer comes out clean.

Place a plate over the top of your cake tin, then flip it upside-down and slowly lift off the cake tin – et voilà! You have an upside-down cake.

Here is half of mine…


Pistachio Ice-Cream


175g  pistachios
220g (1 cup) sugar
500ml whole milk
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
400ml cream


This method is for making ice-cream without an ice-cream machine.

Place the pistachios and sugar into a food processor and pulse until you are left with a fine crumb.


Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the sugar and pistachio mixture, and heat until just before boiling.


Whisk together the eggs and egg yolks, then slowly pour in the hot milk mixture, and continue to whisk.

Replace combined mixture to a very low heat and stir until mixture begins to thicken. This is custard, so it will curdle if you overheat it!

Pour the custard through a sieve, then set aside to cool completely.


Beat the cream to stiff peaks, then fold into your cold custard. Pour the mixture into a freezer safe bowl and cover tightly with cling film (or a lid if it has one!).

Place your ice-cream in the freezer, and for about 3 hours, take it out every 20 – 30 minutes, or when the mixture starts to freeze on the sides (25 for my freezer) and beat it with a hand held mixer until smooth again.

When the ice-cream is almost frozen (thick, but not rock hard!) transfer it to a storage container and leave to freeze completely.

I don’t know about you, but my freezer is really cold! So if you’re like me, don’t forget to take the ice-cream out of the freezer 20 minutes before serving.



Enjoy… x


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