29 May 2010

Upside down citrus cake. Blood oranges and kumquats.

Hello, my name is Mel and I have fructose malabsorption... Imagine reading all those wonderful strawberry recipes this time of year and and not being able to eat even one little strawberry. Same with apples, pears and cherries. Don't feel sorry for me - leaving fruit away is better than a hurting stomach afterward.

As a coping strategy, I started looking for fruit cakes with citrus and/or banana - fruit I can definitively eat. And stumbling through flood blogs I found this upside down cake - sweet, tangy, fruity and a very good ersatz for all the fruit desserts I missed in the last year.

for a 10-inch / 26 cm pan
adapted from running with tweezers

butter and flour for the pan
1/2 cup / 115 g sugar
1/2 cup / 115 g brown sugar
5 small blood oranges, peeled and cut into wheels 1/4 inch / 5 mm thick and seeds removed
10 kumquats, cut into wheels 1/4 inch / 5 mm thick and seeds removed
1 cup / 150 g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup / 125 ml grapefruit, orange or cranberry juice
1/2 cup / 125 ml vegetable oil, e.g. canola

Preheat your oven to 190° C / 375°F and butter and flour your cake pan. As with all upside-down cakes, I recommend to use a pan that's made of one piece and not a springform pan. Imagine all the juice and caramel dripping into your oven... Cleaning up that mess is no fun.

Take a small bowl and mix the brown and the white sugar together. Then sprinkle half of this mixture onto the bottom of your pie pan.

Peel the oranges and cut them into 5 mm thick slices. And leave the kumquats unpeeled (of course!) and also cut into 5 mm thick slices. And remove all the seeds, they tend to taste terribly bitter when you accidentally bite on one.

Arrange all the citrus slices on top of the sugar - if possible in one layer. You could also arrange them in intricate ornamental patterns, but I was lazy that day so I let chaos reign.

Luckily, that was the hardest part. The dough is made with the really easy muffin method.

Take a medium bowl and mix in there all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. And no need to sift the flour, just stir a couple of times with a wire whisk.

Now get another bowl (I like to use a measuring jug) and mix in there the liquid ingredients: egg, vanilla extract, juice and oil.

The original recipe says to use orange or grapefruit juice, but I only had cranberry juice - and it tasted great.

Very quickly mix the liquid with the flour mixture - just 15 strokes, no matter if there are some flour blobs left - and carefully fill the dough on top of the citrus slices. Bake at 190° C /375°F for 45 min and then let it cool. Completely. Don't be impatient or your beautiful orange layer will stick to the pan and destroy your cake.

Take this cake to work and be amazed how quickly it vanishes. Be sure to save a piece for yourself...


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