Saffron and Pistachio Orange Tea Bread

Preparation time: 30 mins plus 30 mins standing time
Cooling time: 1 hour
Makes 8

Melted butter for greasing
1 orange, juiced, zest finely grated
½ tsp saffron threads
185 butter, chopped
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
¾ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup pistachios, finely chopped
1 cup sifted pure icing sugar
2 Tbsp hot water or milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Brush an 8-hole mini-loaf tin with melted butter, then line bases and sides with baking paper. Heat orange juice in microwave on high for 30 seconds. Add saffron, set aside to soak for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, blend the butter, zest and sugar in a medium bowl until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Stir in sour cream. Fold through sifted flour, bicarb, ½ cup of the pistachios and saffron juice until combined. Spoon mixture into holes and smooth surfaces. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into cakes comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Put icing in a medium bowl, and then add enough water or milk to form a thin paste. Spoon a little icing over cakes and sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Stand for 20 minutes for the icing to set before serving.

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