Today I have a recipe from Yossy Arefi’s new seasonal baking book “Sweeter Off the Vine” for you: a tender pistachio pound cake topped with lavender sugar macerated strawberries. The book is a celebration of baking with ripe, seasonal fruit from rhubarb to plums, and it’s full of flavor combinations that leave you rushing to the kitchen/kicking yourself for not thinking of them.
I had the pleasure of meeting Yossy on a trip up to NYC a couple of years ago over dinner, but before that, we’d known each other through the good old food blogging community. She gave me tips for shooting film when I was just starting out, and I was a huge fan of her blog, Apt. 2B Baking Co., recipes and photos both. They have an easy-going quality to them. They’re simple and rustic but never precious and never contrived. Just like her book.
When she sent me her cookbook in all it’s finished glory, I couldn’t be more excited about it and for her. It’s full of the sort of combinations I love, little unexpected twists like pistachio in poundcake or pink peppercorns in raspberries that lend a je ne sais quoi to her recipes. Her creativity isn’t for the sake of creativity—the flavors truly work & harmonize. She’s a fabulous photographer and blogger, but I love her most of all because she’s a baker through and through.
Her recipes don’t stop at being beautiful, and her flavor combination isn’t merely poetic sounding: they’re delicious. Simply amazing. This pistachio pound cake is one such recipe. And it’s deceptively simple. I’ve made hundreds of pound cakes. But this one is the best. Truly. It didn’t last more than 24 hours in our house. I can’t wait to make it at retreats and for guests in our home.
Best of all the recipes in her book are arranged by the fruits of each season so it’s a simple matter to find multiple ideas for whatever happens to be turning up at your market. I’m desperate to try the campari + strawberry popsicles too…pure genius. You can grab a copy of her book here. I highly recommend it. While there are a lot of books out there, few are reliable. I haven’t made a bad dish out of this one. And I don’t find myself subtly tweaking things. Which is highly out of character. These are perfect right off the page. Also, check out the gorgeous video trailer they made for the book below. If this recipe and my shameless gushing don’t make you want it, the video will. And keep on scrolling for the recipe at the bottom of the post. Make this cake before strawberries are gone for the year!