Little cuties, clementines, mandarin oranges, tangerines…they’re all (nearly) the same thing. They’re small, sweet, often seedless oranges. My family eats quite a few when they’re in season – during winter – so I try to use them in a variety of ways, from sweet to savory, sauces to beverages, zest to juice. For this recipe, I experimented and used the whole fruit. ALL of it. No separate zesting, juicing, or dividing segments; you just puree the whole dang thing. The flavor is incredible!!
When the tiny oranges are pureed and ret-ta-go, mix up the batter and pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. This pound cake is a tad on the healthier side than typical recipes because I used fat-free greek yogurt and extra-virgin olive oil in place of the butter. They add wonderful moistness to the cake yet don’t overpower the flavor of the orange. The poppy seeds give it that teensy bit of crunch as well as a lovely speckled appearance.
Bake for about 55 minutes, until orangey-golden brown.
Let it cool slightly in the pan, then remove it to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet or parchment paper (to catch the glaze). The glaze is powdered sugar, brewed earl grey tea, honey and earl grey tea leaves. The flecks of tea leaves mirror the specks of poppy seeds.
We give it TWO rounds of glazing. Poor on half of the glaze, spreading it out over the edges and let it set for 10 minutes. Repeat.
We’re going down in a GLAZE of glory. (sorry/not sorry)
Round 2….patience. There’s a glaze mote. I’m into it.
Serve the cake with tea. Is that a given?
Little bits of fragrant orange. Crunchy dots of poppy seeds. Brown edges with a lusciously moist interior. Sweet herbaceous glaze coating. It’s all that. It’s a diva.
Whole-Clementine Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Earl Grey Glaze
2 whole clementines (mandarin oranges, little cuties, tangerines)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8½ by 4¼ by 2½-inch loaf pan; set aside.
Place the two clementines in small pot of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Drain, add fresh water and boil for another 10 minutes, then drain again. Cut the clementines into halves or quarters (remove any seeds) and puree in a mini-chopper or food processor.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, vanilla and orange puree. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Gently stir in the olive oil until fully incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until golden brown on top and a knife or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
While the cake is baking make your glaze; see recipe below.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan onto a cooling rack set over a large baking sheet or parchment paper. Poor or spoon half of the glaze on top, letting some spill down the sides. Let set for 10 – 15 minutes then repeat with the remaining glaze. Let set for another 10 – 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool to room temperature. Enjoy!
For the Earl Grey Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tablespoons strong brewed earl grey tea (2 tea bags per cup of water)
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon earl grey tea leaves (from a tea bag, or ground if loose leaf)
Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
Note: Pound cake recipe adapted from Baker by Nature.