Orange pistachio cake with crushed black pepper strawberry compote

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50-60 minutes
  • Total time: 65-75 minutes

Makes: 1 x 23cm cake


1 large orange
100g soft apricots
250g butter, softened
250g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp for the strawberries
4 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
150g polenta
2 tsp baking powder (use a gluten-free variety to make this cake suitable for coeliacs)
200g pistachio kernels, finely ground in a blender
400g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


1. Place the whole orange and apricots in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 1 hour until very soft, then drain. Cut the orange in half and remove any pips, then blitz in a blender with the apricots. Leave to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Butter and base line a 23cm deep, loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Cream the butter with 250g of the sugar until pale and light then beat in
the eggs one at a time. Fold in the polenta, baking powder and ground pistachio kernels, then the puréed orange and apricot mixture to give a soft batter.

3. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface. Bake for 50–60 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake emerges clean. Cool in the tin on a wire rack.

4. Place the strawberries in a bowl and scatter with 2 tbsp sugar and the black pepper. Leave to stand to allow the juices to run. Spoon onto the cake, and serve in slices with spoonfuls of crème fraîche.