by Nigella Lawson
I know, this doesn’t really fit into this week’s theme, but it’s orange season and this is one of my favorite things to make. It uses whole oranges (doesn’t matter what kind), and you grind them up and add a little almond meal, a healthy number of eggs, and a few other odds and ends and bake it up for an amazingly dense, bright, delicious cake perfect for after dinner when you want something just a little sweet. Also perfect with a book and an unseasonably warm breeze. This one comes to us courtesy of Nigella Lawson, and we both encourage experimentation. Have mandarins? Fine! Only have Cara Cara oranges? Completely cool. Like a little rosewater in there and ground pistachio instead of almond? My, you are a spicy thing, aren’t you?
3 clementines/mandarins or 2 navel oranges
6 large eggs
1 cup sugar (brown or white, doesn’t matter but brown will give you a better flavor)
1 ¼ cup almond (or pistachio or hazelnut) meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines - skins, pith, fruit and all - and give a quick blitz in a food processor (or by hand, of course).
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Butter and line an 8 inch Springform tin.
Add all the other ingredients to the orange pulp in the food processor (or bowl) and mix.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you'll probably have to cover with foil or greaseproof after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When the cake's cold, you can take it out of the tin. I think this is better a day after it's made, but I don't complain about eating it at any time.
You can also make this with an equal weight of lemons instead of oranges, in which case I increase the sugar to 2¼ cups and add a glaze made of powdered sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.