Citrus fruits are abundant in winter and their bright flavor and color can invigorate all kinds of dishes. I was instantly drawn to this rustic cake in Cooking in the Moment. Glazed slices of orange speckle its surface, and an orange syrup brushed over the warm cake seeps into the crumbly crust. The recipe calls for Satsuma oranges, and I recommend seeking them out. They are a type of Mandarin orange and they are seedless, sweet, and vividly colored.
I made this for our Spanish-themed holiday party, and it looked spectacularly festive. Best wishes for 2012!
Juicy Satsuma Orange Cake
from Cooking in the Moment by Andrea Reusing
Oranges and Glaze
5 satsuma oranges
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
8 tblsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup semolina flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 10-inch round pan.
2. Finely grate the zest of one of the oranges and reserve the zest for the cake batter. Cut the orange in half, juice it, and strain the juice; you should have 1/3 cup juice. Slice the remaining 4 oranges into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and orange slices in a medium non-reactive saucepan, and bring to a slow simmer over low heat. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until the centers of the orange slices are starting to become tender and translucent but are not falling apart. Carefully transfer the orange slices to a plate with a slotted spoon, and continue to simmer the syrup until it has reduced to 1/2 cup, 5 to 8 minutes. Set the glaze aside.
3. To make the cake, combine the butter and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until fluffy. While the mixer is running, add an egg and wait for it to be incorporated before adding the other. Add the reserved grated orange zest. In a bowl, sift together the semolina flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, to the batter mixture and mix until all of it is incorporated. Pout the batter into the pan and arrange the orange slices in one layer on top of the batter. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 35o degrees and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until cake is an even golden brown and baked through. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Let cool on a wire rack until warm.
5. Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over. Brush the glaze over the top with a pastry brush. Allow to cool to room temperature, then unmold.