Nothing is more satisfying than stepping into the garden, picking some produce, bringing it into the kitchen, and transforming it into something for our family. So much of what we grow we eat as is, like the fat, juicy peaches we pick and eat right away as we stand looking for another to pluck, and the lettuce that becomes a delicious simple salad for lunch.
However, we almost have more citrus than we know what to do with. Besides the tangerine and the lime trees, we have 2 orange, 2 lemon and a grapefruit tree. We do have oranges almost year round, although by late fall the pickings can be pretty slim.
Since they are plentiful now we have been trying out pretty much anything that calls for oranges. This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, Fresh Flavor Fast. It has some unusaul ingredients for a cake, but we loved the way that the olive oil kept it moist, and complemented the bright flavors of the sweet citrus. The cake is not too sweet, and has a hearty texture from the cornmeal (we used polenta, a coarse cornmeal). It is all topped off with a crunchy, sugar crust that really brings the whole thing together. Even in the fall when our oranges are not so plentiful, we would definitely use some for this cake.
Orange Cornmeal Cake
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
zest of one orange
1 cup suagr, 1/3 cup for topping
1/2 cup dry white wine or orange juice.
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Oil an 8 inch round cake pan with additional olive oil.
2. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
3. Rub orange zest into the sugar and whisk in the oil, eggs, and wine until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk to combine.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 cup of sugar. Bake until cake begins to pull away from the sides of pan and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.
5. Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Invert cake on to a plate and reinvert on to a wire rack and cool completely.
Serve with fresh orange segments.