Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 1 hour
Makes: 1 low 9-inch cake, serves 12
A Passover tradition in many families, this cake calls for neither butter nor flour.
1 ½ cups ground blanched almonds (sold as almond flour or meal) plus 1 – 2 tablespoons for pan
2 oranges (or sub 1 ¼ pounds clementines)
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 tablespoons orange-blossom water, optional
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1. Prep: Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan. Dust with almond flour.
2. Soften: Wash oranges. Settle whole oranges in a bowl and fill with cold water until the oranges float. Zap in the microwave until very soft, about 23 - 25 minutes. Alternatively, settle oranges in a saucepan, fill with cold water until they float, cover and boil until very soft, about 1 ½ hours.
3. Swirl: Pull oranges out of their bath. Pull off little green nubs on top. Slice each in half along its equator and pluck out any seeds (Clementines lack seeds). Drop fruit – skin and all – into the food processor. Swirl completely smooth.
4. Mix: Whisk together eggs, sugar, orange-blossom water, baking powder, salt and almonds. Whisk in orange puree.
5. Bake: Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake at 375 degrees until springy in the center and a toothpick stabbed in the center comes out clean, about 45 – 50 minutes. Cool. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake. Unsnap pan rim. This moist cake is lovely unadorned. Or glaze with 1 tablespoon lemon juice whisked into ¼ cup powdered sugar.
Provenance: Adapted from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden.