In the dead of winter (or what passes for it in California), nothing brings the sunshine back more than citrus. As a winter treat, Steve created this delicious cake for oranges or a mix of orange with other citrus. It’s reminiscent of Middle Eastern or northern African recipes. It can be iced (we used a simple cream cheese icing), glazed with either a cooked juice/sugar syrup or marmalade, dollopped with whipped cream, or sprinkled with chopped nuts or powdered sugar—or some combination of all.

Yes, you read the recipe correctly: use WHOLE fruit. After all, some of the most intense aroma is in the rind, and boiling removes the intense bitterness of the white pith, leaving a pleasant “edge”—almost like the flavor of an Italian aperitivo. Depending on your combination of citrus you may want to adjust the amount of sugar you use; tangerines or blood oranges may require more than a typical navel orange. If seeds are present, remember to remove them before processing the fruit after boiling.

This cake pairs beautifully with Urban Legend’s Aglow, an orange dessert wine. There’s a bit of that edge with it, too—it’s not too sweet and has notes of baking spice from fermenting the grapes with the skins and seeds (just like a red) rather than just fermenting juice.

Ingredients

3 oranges, washed and scrubbed
4 eggs, large
½ cup olive oil, extra virgin
¾ cup sugar
2 ½ cups almond flour, blanched, finely ground
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
icing, citrus glaze, marmalade, powdered sugar, berries, chopped toasted nuts, or whipped cream; optional, to finish

Directions

Place cleaned oranges in a saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Drain oranges and thoroughly cool (ice water for 30 minutes).

Oil the cake pan, and line the bottom with oiled baking parchment. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

For seeded oranges, quarter and remove all seeds.

Place the oranges, skin and pith included, in the food processor and process until you have an evenly blended paste.

Add salt, eggs, and oil to the paste and process until smooth.

Add the sugar and process until well mixed.

Add the almond flour and baking powder to the orange paste and process to mix, stopping the processor and scraping the bowl as needed.

Taste the blend and adjust sugar if necessary. Batter will be thick.

Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes. Cake will not rise a great deal.

Cool cake on a cooling rack. Remove springform pan sides and ice, glaze, top, or sprinkle to finish.