Around the turn of the 20th century a French Priest
living in Algeria, named Pere Clement, crossed a bitter orange (Seville)
with a Mandarin. The result was a sweet yet tangy, slightly flattened,
easy-to-peel orange which became known as the Clementine. Clementines are
often called the Christmas orange, as their harvest time
corresponds with the holiday season. They are an excellent eating orange but
you may want to put a few aside to make
this delicious Middle Eastern Clementine Torte which uses whole cooked Clementines, peel and
This Clementine Torte recipe is adapted
from Stephanie Alexander's excellent 'The Cook's Companion' where she tells
us that in Australia this cake is very popular. It's a wonderfully dense and moist
cake, with a slightly tart flavor because the batter contains whole
oranges, peel and all. The Clementines are simmered in water for a few
hours until they become nice and soft which helps to reduce the tartness of
the peel. This cake is gluten free as it doesn't contain wheat flour,
instead finely ground almonds (almond flour/meal) are used. What is also
surprising is that it doesn't contain any butter or oil. It is simply a
mixture of whole oranges, eggs, sugar, and ground
almonds. Easily made in a food processor, it stores very well. In fact, it
is better to bake this cake a day or two
in advance of serving so its' flavors have time to soften and blend.
Excellent with whipped cream.
As I mentioned above, this torte contains ground almonds. You can
either buy almond meal/flour or else you can make your own by placing
whole or sliced almonds in your food processor and processing them until
finely ground. Almond meal/flour can be found at some grocery
stores, specialty food stores/markets,
or else at health food stores. You can also
order it on line.
Clementine Torte: Place the Clementines in a saucepan and
cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer the Clementines
for about two hours or until very soft. Then remove the Clementines from the water, place in
a strainer, and let the oranges cool completely. (This step can be done a
day ahead. Once the oranges have cooled completely, cover, and place in the
refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter and line
the bottom of a 9 inch (23 cm) springform pan with parchment paper.
Once the Clementines have completely cooled, cut
them into large chunks, remove any seeds, and place the Clementines (skins and
all) in your food processor. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and process until
you have a smooth mixture. Then, in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, baking powder, salt and
ground almonds. Add the orange mixture to the almond mixture and whisk
or stir to combine. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for about
45 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick
inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. If you find the cake over
browning, cover the cake with a piece of lightly buttered aluminum foil. Remove
from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely
before removing the sides of the springform pan.
This cake is best after it has been allowed to
sit overnight. Serve with whipped cream.
Makes about 8 - 10 servings.
View comments on this recipe on YouTube
1 pound (450 grams) Clementines (4
depending on size)
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