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Diana Henry's portokalopita with orange flower cream
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350g filo pastry
1 small orange, with thin skin if possible
5 large oranges
280g caster sugar
2 broad strips lemon zest
½ cinnamon stick
5 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs
175ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
200g Greek yogurt
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp semolina
2 tsp baking powder
For the cream
250ml double or whipping cream
3 tbsp fine shred orange marmalade (choose a pale coloured one, not dark)
1 tbsp icing sugar, or to taste
1 tsp orange flower water, or to taste
1. Tear the filo pastry into pieces and spread them over baking sheets or in roasting tins – these need to dry out overnight and they need room (about 3 roasting tins or the equivalent). Toss them every so often to turn them over.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Cut the small orange into 6 thin slices and put them in a single layer in a roasting tin. Finely grate the zest from 3 of the large oranges and set aside. Squeeze the whole oranges to give 425ml of juice. Pour 250ml of the orange juice over the oranges slices, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. The slices should be soft.
3. Put 140g of the sugar into a saucepan with 250ml water, the lemon zest and cinnamon. Bring to the boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve, then boil for 10 minutes. Leave to cool, then strain and pour over the orange slices.
4. Oil a baking dish or baking pan measuring roughly 23x28cm. Put the eggs and the rest of the sugar into a bowl and whisk with electric beaters until pale. Add the rest of the orange juice (175ml), the olive oil, yogurt, reserved orange zest and vanilla, then stir in the semolina and baking powder. Now add the torn filo and scrape the mixture into the oiled pan.
5. Bake for 35 minutes (don’t overbake or the cake will be rubbery). Pierce the cake all over while it is still warm and pour on about half the orange syrup, then put the orange slices on top. Leave the syrup to soak in.
6. Whisk the cream and, once it’s just holding its shape, whisk in the marmalade, icing sugar and orange flower water (the beaters will break down the marmalade). Serve the cake slightly warm or at room temperature, with a slice of orange for each person and some of the remaining syrup. Offer the cream on the side.
This recipe was first published in January 2019.
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