Portuguese Orange and Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast (Clarkson Potter, 2009)
"When I lived in Lisbon, a few times a week, I'd trudge up the hill from my apartment and pop into Papas for breakfast, perhaps one of the tiniest restaurants in the city. It seats a mere eight people, and that includes two at the counter. If it wasn't open yet, for the Portuguese regard horários (schedules) as nothing more than polite suggestions, I'd wait. My go-to breakfast was this dessert cake. It's dense, moist, and deeply flavored, and, I'm not ashamed to say, the servers tended to have a generous hand when cutting slices." –David Leite
- Nonstick baking spray with flour
- 4 to 5 large navel oranges
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 large eggs
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups mild extra virgin olive oil
- Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, remove any racks above, and crank up the heat to 350°F (175°C). Coat a 12-cup Bundt or tube pan with baking spray and set aside. Finely grate the zest of 3 of the oranges, then squeeze 4 of them. You should have 1 1/2 cups of juice; if not, squeeze the fifth orange. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until well-combined, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar and continue beating until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and oil, starting and ending with the flour, and beat until just a few wisps of flour remain. Pour in the orange juice and zest and whirl for a few seconds to bring the batter together.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 1 1/4 hours. If the top is browning too much as the cake bakes, cover lightly with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Turn the cake out onto the rack and cool completely, then place it in a covered cake stand and let it sit overnight. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.
10 to 12 servings