Clementine Cake

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I've been consuming clementines by the crate over the the last few weeks.  I peel and devour at least ten a day.  If I thought they would keep, I'd pile them to the ceiling to make sure I always had more on hand.

While a bowl full of sweet citrus segments suits me just fine for dessert, I wasn't convinced that my dinner party guests would feel the same this past weekend.  I searched my cookbook collection for a suitable citrus dessert, but only came up with sorbets or panna cottas -- not the wintry final course I was hoping for.  At last my search brought me to Nigella Lawson's Clementine Cake recipe and the rave reviews other cooks had given it.

I don't always enjoy citrus desserts, but when the mid-winter bounty of clementines appears next year, I will definitely be turning back to this easy, flourless, five-ingredient recipe.

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Clementine Cake

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Ingredients

5 clementines, rinsed clean
6 eggs
1 C plus 2 TB sugar
2 1/3 C ground almonds
1 heaping tsp baking powder

Method

Place the clementines in a large pot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 hours. 

When cooked, drain the water and allow the clementines to cool.  Split and remove the seeds and stems.  Throw the skins, pith and fruit into a food processor, and finely chop.  The original recipe isn't clear on whether or not to retain the juices.  I added about 1/3 of the juice to the food processor.

Preheat the oven to 375F

Butter an 8-inch springform pan and line with a circle of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then add the sugar, ground almonds and baking powder.  Mix by hand and then incorporate the clementines.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake.  Lawson's recipe calls for an hour of baking, but I'd recommend checking it at the 30 or 40 minute mark. The sides of my cake became quite dark.  I was worried that the cake was burning, but it ended up being the citrus and sugar caramelizing.  Nevertheless, I covered the cake with foil after 40 minutes and continued cooking until a tester came out clean from the center.  This took about 15 more minutes. 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack before removing the springform sides.  The cake can be made a day ahead. Serve at room temperature dusted with powdered sugar.

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