By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern
Photo: Leites Culinaria blog
I first heard about this cake while watching one of my favorite movies, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and I knew I had to try making it sometime! Plus, did you know that clementines are in season in February here in Arizona? Pick some up at your local farmers market and make this recipe with us!
By the Leites Culinaria blog
Serves 8 to 10
For the glazed citrus:
- 6 thin-skinned satsumas, clementines, tangerines, blood oranges, or small navel oranges, preferably organic
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the clementine cake:
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup semolina flour (or substitute all-purpose flour)
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Make the Glazed Citrus
- Finely grate the zest of 1 of the citrus fruits. You should have about 1 teaspoon. Reserve it for the cake batter. Cut that citrus fruit in half, juice it, and strain the juice; you should have 1/3 cup juice. (There’s a chance you may need a second citrus to yield sufficient juice.)
- Slice the remaining citrus fruits into very thin circles—not paper thin, mind you, but no more than 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Remove and discard any seeds. [Editor’s Note: If using thicker-skinned citrus, slice the citrus 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick, place the slices on a plate, and microwave on high for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on how thick the peels. This helps ensure the thick peel softens without turning the fruit clinging to it to mush.]
- In a medium nonreactive saucepan over low heat, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and orange slices and bring to a slow simmer. Cook until the centers of the orange slices are starting to become tender and translucent but aren’t falling apart and the peels are tender, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness. If the peels aren’t yet tender enough to cut with a fork, keep simmering until they are.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the orange slices to a plate. Continue to simmer the syrup until it reduces to 1/2 cup, anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes, depending on how long you simmered the orange slices and the size of your pan. Remove from the heat.
TESTER TIP: You may want to pour the remaining syrup into a Pyrex measuring cup using a spatula to scrape the pan. This made it easier to microwave later because it’s a lot easier to pour the syrup onto the cake when it’s warm.
Make the Clementine Cake
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9- or 10-inch springform cake pan.
- Toss the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until fluffy. With the mixer still running, add an egg and mix until it’s completely and indisputably incorporated before adding the second egg. When the second egg is similarly incorporated, sprinkle the grated orange zest reserved from the glaze recipe over the batter and mix until combined.
- In a bowl, sift together the semolina flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Gently mix the flour mixture into the batter, a little at a time, and mix just until no white streaks of flour remain. Pour the batter into the buttered cake pan and smooth the surface.
- Arrange the glazed oranges on the batter in a single layer, first pausing to allow any excess glaze to drip from the oranges back into the pan before placing them on the cake. Reserve the remaining glaze in the pan. (You may also end up with some extra citrus slices, which is intentional since some of the slices may fall apart during simmering. Any extras are lovely to nibble or spoon over yogurt.)
- Bake the cake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and bake the cake until it’s an even golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, for 25 to 30 minutes more for a total of 40 to 45 minutes.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack until just warm.
- Warm the remaining glaze. Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the surface of the cake. Brush the glaze over the cake using a pastry brush. Let the cake cool to room temperature on a wire rack before removing it from the pan or simply slice and serve the cake straight from the pan.
Find more delicious dessert recipes on Fill Your Plate’s recipe database!