Clementine Cake

It’s clementine season, which makes me very happy!  I love those little nuggets of juicy orange-ness.  I love that they are so simple to peel and seedless and juicy…  This recipe is pretty crazy because you don’t even have to peel the clementines.  You make it using the skin and all!  I made this before I knew I needed to eat gluten free, but it’s naturally gluten free already, so it’s a great cake option for me know.  I haven’t made this since last fall, so these pictures are old and are blurry, but I love how you can see the bits of clementines in the cake.

Clementine Cake
Adapted from Nigella Lawson AND smittenkitchen
I left the grams measurements because some people like to be exact

  • 4 to 5 clementines (about 375grams/slightly less than 1 pound) I used 5 without weighing (you should probably wash the skins)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups (250 grams) ground almonds or almond meal* (see tip at bottom)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • Optional: Powdered sugar for dusting, or for making a glaze
  1. If you bought whole almonds, grind them with a food processor, chopper, or a clean coffee grinder while the clementines are boiling or before.  Measure after grinding.
  2. Put the clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to the boil, and cook for 2 hours.  This will soften and remove the bitterness from the peel.  I found that I needed to add more water towards the end because it started to boil away.
  3. Drain and when cool (I didn’t wait, but don’t burn yourself), cut each clementine in half and remove the seeds, some won’t have seeds – only 1 of mine did. The clementines will be super-mushy. Finely chop the skins, pith, and fruit in a food processor, blender, or by hand.  I used my Cuisinart Hand Stick Blender Chopper (one of my favorite wedding shower gifts) and it took 2 batches to process the clementines, but each only took about 30 seconds and it’s easier to clean than most processors.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Butter and line the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. I didn’t have parchment paper one time, so I greased the sides and the bottom very well.  You could probably also use a regular square or round pan of similar size.  It will be a little harder to get out of the pan and won’t look as pretty, but if you don’t have a springform pan and don’t think you’ll use one often, don’t buy one just for this.
  5. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder. Mix well, adding the chopped clementines.
  6. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes.  You may need to bake a little longer; check with a skewer or thin knife.  I covered mine with foil after 30 minutes so it wouldn’t over-brown on the top.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan on a rack. When the cake is cool, remove from pan (if using springform) and dust with powdered sugar or a glaze if you want it sweeter (but both will soak into cake if you leave it overnight, so you may just want to add it just before serving).  If you don’t use a springform pan, I’m not sure if it can be taken out of the pan whole without breaking.  It’s super-moist, so it may be delicate because it’s a little heavier.
You can make a glaze using milk and powdered sugar or juice and powdered sugar – just stir a small amount of the liquid into the powdered sugar until you get the right consistency.  Add more powdered sugar if it gets too runny – you’ll figure it out.
I definitely prefer desserts of the chocolate variety, but this is a great change-up and is gluten-free and fairly healthy.
*Almond meal is cheap at Trader Joe’s – like $2.99 for a lb.  I highly recommend using if you don’t already have whole almonds to grind.
The next day it was even better – I added some glaze too!

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