I have a pretty lovely cookbook on Turkish food appropriately named Turkey, by Leanne Kitchen. I would link to it, but the only link I can find is Amazon and I feel weird doing that. Right? RIght.
In any case, this book is lovely. It's filled with gorgeous pictures and a handful of delicious, straightforward recipes. This was one of them, and I wasn't disappointed. It's not too sweet, I like pistachios on almost anything, and above all, it is extremely easy to make.
I changed a few things- for example, I made a honey syrup instead of a sugar one, I added ground cinnamon to the flour, and I also added crushed and toasted pistachios over the top of the cake.
Pistachio Semolina Cake
As adapted from Turkey, by Leanne Kitchen
3/4 cup honey
1 1/4 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cup whole shelled pistachios (3/4 cup for the cake and 1/2 cup for the top)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups fine semolina
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup melted salted butter
Make the syrup first:
This way the syrup will be cooled by the time the cake is out of the oven. It is important to pour a cooled syrup over a hot cake or else it won't absorb correctly.
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan except for the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer for about 7 minutes and then add the lemon juice and cool.
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 325 and lightly grease and flour a rectangular pan that's "normal size" or you can do it in whatever you have that is not too big and not too small.
Combine the sugar and 3/4 cup pistachios in a food processor and process into a fine powder. Place into a bowl and stir in the semolina, flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Combine the milk and butter in another bowl and add to the flour mixture, whisking well until the batter comes together. Pour into your prepared dish and smooth it out. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and pour on the honey syrup. Move the pan around to distribute the honey. When the cake has cooled, cut it into diamond shaped pieces.
With the oven still on, place the remaining 1/2 cup of pistachios on a baking sheet (or some tin foil) and sprinkle with the tiniest bit of olive oil and salt. Roast for 7 minutes and remove from the oven. Chop them fine and sprinkle over the cake.