Serves 8 to 10
Prepare this moist fruit cake up to a day before serving.
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, softened, divided
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided
2 navel oranges, unpeeled
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 package (7 ounces) almond paste
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup orange marmalade or apricot preserves
2 teaspoons orange liqueur
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons Amaretto or almond liqueur
To prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides. Place in the oven for 1 minute to melt the butter. Remove and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir with a fork. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar bubbles and browns lightly. Remove from the oven and set aside.
With a serrated knife, cut the oranges into very thin slices. Cut some of the smaller slices in halves. With a fork, spread some of the sugar mixture against the sides of the cake pan. Line the sides of the pan with half-circle orange slices, curved side down. Make sure there is sugar between the slices and pan.
Place a whole slice in the bottom center of the pan. Surround with orange slices, squeezing gently to fit in a single layer. Cut a few remaining slices into quarters. Fill in any empty spaces. Press gently to make sure the orange slices are in an even layer. On a sheet of waxed paper, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Cut the almond paste into thin slices. Process in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until finely ground.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the remaining 1 1/4 sticks of butter until fluffy. Crumble in the almond paste. Add 1/3 cup sugar and the orange extract. Beat for about 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl when needed, or until smooth. Break up any lumps of almond paste that remain. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the milk and the dry ingredients alternately, ending with the dry ingredients. Carefully dollop the batter in the pan so the orange slices aren’t disturbed.
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until the cake is browned and a tester comes out clean. Remove to a rack for 5 minutes. Place a serving plate over the pan. With both hands in oven mitts tightly holding the pan and plate, invert the cake onto the plate. If any orange slices stick to the pan, remove them with a butter knife and pat into place on the cake.
Cool the cake; cover with plastic and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Before serving, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
To prepare the glaze: Place the marmalade or preserves in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute or until bubbling hot. Press through a fine sieve set over a bowl. Stir in the orange liqueur. Cool slightly before brushing over cake.
To prepare the whipped cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft peaks form. Add 1 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar and 1 tablespoon Amaretto or almond liqueur. Whip for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the peaks hold their shape. Taste and whisk in more Amaretto if desired. Serve with the cake.
©2001, PergolaWest, Inc.