Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Oh My Darling (and Tasty) Clementines

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Oh My Darling (and Tasty) Clementines

Article excerpt

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," the charming Ben Stiller movie based on James Thurber's very short story in the New Yorker in 1939, is filled with romance, special effects, breathtaking cinematography and adventure.

I had my eye on the food -- specifically the intriguing clementine cake.

In the movie, which has been overshadowed by other recent blockbusters, Walter (Stiller) is a photo editor at Life magazine responsible for historic photos. But he has lost the crucial image planned for the cover of the magazine's last issue. He treks across the globe to retrieve another copy from the photographer (Sean Penn), who's shooting snow leopards in the Himalayas.

The cake was a minor subplot, baked by his mother (Shirley MacLaine) for his birthday, but it popped up in scenes throughout the movie.

I had never heard of clementine cake and had to try it.

We couldn't find a recipe in the zillion cookbooks we have here at the newspaper, but we found various versions on the Internet, all based on a recipe created by Nigella Lawson, the British celebrity chef. The best part: It calls for ground almonds (same as almond flour or almond meal), so it's gluten free -- and moist and delicious. Preparation is simple.

You can leave it plain or top it with clementine slices, powdered sugar or glaze.

CLEMENTINE CAKE

PG Tested

4 to 5 unpeeled clementines (about 1 pound total weight)

6 eggs

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/3 cups of ground almonds

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

Put unpeeled clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to a boil and cook for 2 hours.

Drain and when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the seeds. Chop everything finely -- skins, pith, fruits -- in a blender or food processor.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and line with parchment an 8- inch springform pan.

Beat eggs. Add sugar, almonds and baking powder. …

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