Orange-Almond Cake

Every part of the orange plays a role in this dessert. Boiling the oranges mellows bitterness from the skin and pith, the soft fruit that results adds tang to the batter.

Orange-Almond Cake

Photography: Alan Benson

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2003

Ingredients

  • 6 navel or other sweet oranges
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 3/4 cups finely ground blanched almonds (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar

Directions

  1. Place whole unpeeled oranges in a large saucepan or stockpot, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer gently, 2 hours. Drain; set oranges aside to cool. (Navel oranges may have a few seeds. Halve the cooked oranges, and remove any strays before using the rest of the fruit.)

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. Halve cooked oranges, and remove any seeds. Place 7 halves in a food processor, and pulse until pureed but still chunky. This should yield about 3 cups; set aside.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs with 1 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in orange puree until just combined. Stir in flour mixture; pour into prepared pan.

  4. Bake until cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack. After 15 minutes, run a small spatula or paring knife around edge to loosen cake; let cool completely.

  5. Meanwhile, make orange topping: Chop remaining 5 orange halves into 1/2- inch pieces, and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine remaining cup sugar with 3/4 cup water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved.

  6. Add chopped oranges to saucepan, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer gently until most of the liquid has evaporated and thickened into a syrup, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool completely.

  7. To assemble, remove ring from pan; transfer the cooled cake to a serving platter. Arrange chopped oranges and any remaining syrup over top of cake. Cut into wedges, and serve. Or store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 2 days.

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