This recipe is a variation on an orange-almond cake in Claudia Roden’s A Book of Middle Eastern Food, a cake that’s unusual in a couple of ways: There’s no flour in the cake’s base (if you’re serving gluten-free guests, just use cornstarch to coat the pan), and the entire fruit goes into the batter, rind and all. The grapefruits may seem strange to some, but they keep sweetness at bay and complement the almonds’ richness. (To play it safe, go with the original oranges.)
- Wash the grapefruits, then bring them to a boil in a pot big enough to keep the fruits submerged in water. Simmer until the skin is shiny and almost see-through, turning the fruit every 30 minutes or so. It will take about two hours total.
- Drain and let the cooked fruit cool for at least 30 minutes. They are hotter inside than you might anticipate.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub the inside and sides of a cake pan with butter, then coat the buttered pan with flour. (Ideally, use a cake pan with a removable base.)
- Dig through the flesh and remove the seeds. Puree the flesh with a blender or immersion blender. Or push the flesh through a strainer if you don’t have that kind of machinery.
- Beat the eggs together in a large bowl. Add the almonds, sugar, baking powder, and pureed flesh and mix well. Bake until the middle of the cake is almost set and no longer wet, about an hour.
- Let cool and serve with sweetened whipped cream. Or yogurt. Something rich and sweet. The cake keeps in the fridge for at least three days.
Recipe by Scott Hocker
Scott Hocker is a writer, editor, recipe developer, cookbook author, and content and editorial consultant. He has worked in magazines, kitchens, newsletters, restaurants and a bunch of other environments he can’t remember right now. He has also been the editor in chief of both liquor.com and Tasting Table.