Cooking oranges. Now there’s something I haven’t done before.
But maybe it would work. And I just happened to have two Cara Cara oranges on hand. And I just happened to be in the market for a cake for my Pesach seder that evening.
This is gonna be a train wreck, I thought to myself. I’m STILL no good at juggling multiple dishes and the timing necessary to make sure everything is done on time. So why not add an impromptu cake to the mix, one with a strange new technique to my busy cooking day?
I found this recipe on the very good, very intimidating Food52 blog: From a woman who discovered that the recipe her mother-in-law had written down for her was actually a traditional Sephardic Jewish Pesach recipe. Too cool.
2 cara cara oranges (or other navel oranges) Washed.
unsalted butter for greasing the pan
2 cups (10 ounces packed ground almond meal
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1. Put the oranges in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce and simmer gently for about an hour and a half, or until oranges are very soft. Remove from water and let cool. Then cut them into quarters and remove any seeds if necessary.
2. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan.
3. Here’s the fun part. Pulse the oranges in a food processor until pureed but still slightly chunky and set aside. I used my immersion blender to the same effect. By this time my kids were asking me what the hell I thought I was doing.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, baking powder and salt. set aside.
5. Whisk sugar and eggs together in a large mixing bowl until combined (about one minute). Stir in orange puree and almond mixture until combined.
6. Pour into prepared pan.
7. Bake until a fork inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Let the cake cool completely before trying to coax it out of its pan. Continue cooling on a wire rack.
I can’t believe this worked. It is delicious and moist and sweet. You hardly need the dusting of powdered sugar…but it sure does make it look pretty.
Try this at home. There are still a few days of Pesach left. Or heck try it anytime.
May your home smell like oranges.