Though Spanish cuisine has roots in Roman and Mediterranean cooking, influence from Jewish and Moorish settlers differentiates Spain's cooking from the rest of Europe. Later, Spanish conquistadores brought back numerous foods from the Americas that were then introduced to the rest of Europe, including potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and beans.
Serves 6 to 8
This simple cake uses both olive oil and orange juice, reflecting two of Spain's major crops: olives and oranges. For best results, use a mild tasting olive oil.
10 ounces sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup olive oil
The zest of one orange, minced (without the bitter white pith)
10 ounces flour, sifted with:
1/2 ounce powdered yeast (1 teaspoon)
For the syrup:
Zest from two oranges used in Presentation below
1-3/4 quarts fresh squeezed orange juice
30 ounces sugar
2 whole oranges
Beat the eggs with the sugar until they turn white. Add the milk, olive oil, and the minced orange zest. Lastly, add bit by bit and stirring constantly, the sifted flour and yeast. Brush an 8-inch round baking pan with olive oil and dust with sugar and flour. Fill it with the batter. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F. oven for one hour. Remove from the oven, unmold and let cool thoroughly.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the oranges, being careful to get only the colored part of the skin. Cut away and discard any bitter white pith from the oranges. Peel the oranges and cut the zest into julienne strips. Place the orange juice in a saucepan with the julienned peel and the sugar. Cook for 1/2 hour until a thick syrup forms. Strain and reserve part of the julienned strips and 1/2 cup of the syrup, for later glazing the tart. Slowly pour the rest of the syrup over the cake, so that it soaks through. Place on a serving dish.
To finish the tart, reduce the saved 1/2 cup syrup to 3 tablespoons and with a spatula spread the glaze on the cake. Arrange the julienned strips into a little hill in the middle, surrounded by a crown of whole sections of the two oranges.
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This page modified January 2007
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