Where is that “PLEASE MAKE ME” folder when I need it so badly?  This recipe from  Homesick Texan is fabulous. Lisa calls it Lemon Bread, I took some liberties with her recipe and decided to change it to loaf. To me, bread immediately brings the thought of yeast, and a drier crumb.  This is very moist and tender.  I also used pistachios instead of pecans, because one of our graduate students is nuts about pistachios (sorry, lousy pun). We like to keep our students happy, because happy students do great experiments. Or so we hope… 😉


(made on May 18th – blogged on August 17th)

(slightly adapted from Homesick Texan)

for the loaf:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped coarsely

for the glaze:
6 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cups granulated sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F and grease and flour a 9×5 bread pan, lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Stir together the buttermilk and the baking soda and set it aside. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat together the eggs and slowly add to the creamed butter. Stir in the buttermilk and then slowly add the flour. Mix until a smooth batter is formed. Stir in the lemon zest and the pistachios.

Pour in the batter and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes.

As the bread is cooling, mix together the lemon juice and sugar for the glaze. To apply the glaze, tear out a sheet of foil large enough to contain the loaf when wrapped. Remove the loaf from the pan by running a knife along the edges and gently tapping it out onto the sheet of foil.

Spread the glaze evenly over the top of the loaf and on the sides. The glaze will be runny, just make sure to contain it all when you wrap the bread with the foil.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Serve cold.


to print the recipe, click here


I am sure Lisa’s original version is amazing too, but when I saw the bright yellow-green color of the cut pistachios in the loaf, and how well their taste combined with the acidity of the lemon flavor, I was glad I used them.  Of course, for weeks I’d seen packages of shelled pistachios at the grocery store, but they disappeared the moment I wanted to make this recipe.  I had to buy whole pistachios and shell them, one by one.  A labor of love, but worth it.

This would be perfect for brunch, to take to a potluck, or to brighten up the morning of your co-workers.

ONE YEAR AGO: Roast Beef French Dip Sandwich with Green Pea Pesto

TWO YEARS AGO: Asparagus Pesto

THREE YEARS AGO: Chocolate and Chestnut Terrine

FOUR YEARS AGO: Under the spell of lemongrass

FIVE YEARS AGO: Greens + Grapefruit + Shrimp = Great Salad!


30 thoughts on “LEMON PISTACHIO LOAF

  1. I love lemon loaves, with or without nuts. I’ve been using poppyseeds in mine because I have a ton in the freezer. (Although dried cranberries are also good. Can you tell I REALLY love lemon loaves?) I should really make a poppyseed yeast roll one of these days. 🙂

    I’m curious whether you use salted pistachios or do you buy “raw” like the shelled and unpeeled almonds?


    • I got the raw ones. Unsalted, plain. However, I must also say that salted caramel things are so delicious, maybe a little roated salted pistachio would not hurt here, Something to try…


  2. I love the crackle of the crust in your loaf! I make my kids shell the pistachios.. do you use salted/roasted or would that be too strong a flavor? It’s hard to find them plain here. I agree with your choice and the color combination would be so pretty.. with each bite:)


    • Hi, Barbara! It is not easy to find raw, unsalted pistachios, but that’s what I used. If you see one of my replies above, I do think that roasted and salted could work too, kind of a salted caramel route 😉


  3. This looks so moist and delicious! Mike would love the combo of lemons and pistachios. Mr. N too now that I think of it. I’m not crazy about pistachios myself, but I know I would enjoy pecans. Perhaps I’ll have to make one of each. great idea to take to work too. I haven’t baked for the office in a while.


  4. One peek at the photo and another at the ingredients and I can see why you want to make this. I love pistachios – ate a bag of them last week – shame on me. I should have saved them for this loaf!


  5. I am in love!
    I just read the title in my inbox (finally settled down enough to “attempt” catching up on reading emails) and I knew I need to make this!
    I love anything with lemon, I think the pistachios would compliment this beautifully!
    Can’t wait to try this, thank you Sally


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