‘What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.’ – TS Eliot, Four Quartets
Somehow we’re back to blood oranges. A year ago I made doughnuts with them, and quick bread. I’m not quite sure where the time went – months have flown by, with so many changes, yet somehow it is all a blur.
This citrus Bundt cake is adapted from Yossy’s beautiful book Sweeter Off the Vine (the doughnuts mentioned above are found among its pages, too). I find myself taking far too many trips to the refrigerator to sneak another sliver; the sweet, tart flavors and pieces of citrus flesh scattered throughout the cake (Yossy describes them as ‘jammy pockets’) are worth any extra indulgence on my part. If you don’t have Sweeter Off the Vine, I highly recommend it. It’s a stunning collection of recipes and photographs, and everything turns out delicious.
Citrus Bundt Cake
My changes from Yossy’s cake were to use blood oranges instead of Meyer lemons in the cake. I also added 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not noted in the recipe here). I store this in the fridge because I like to eat it cold, but it can be stored at room temperature.
1 medium grapefruit
2 blood oranges
3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (225g) unsalted butter softened
6 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup (225g) sour cream at room temperature
2 medium Meyer lemons (regular lemons will work, too)
3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325ºF (160ºC). Butter and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan very thoroughly.
To make the cake
Scrub the grapefruit and blood oranges with warm soapy water to remove any excess wax, then dry the fruit. Put the sugar into a medium bowl and zest the grapefruit and blood oranges directly into the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until evenly distributed and fragrant.
Supreme the grapefruit and oranges: Cut the tops and bottoms off of all the fruits, then cut the white pith away from the outside of the fruit. Over a bowl, carefully cut the wedges of fruit away from the membrane, letting the fruit and juices fall into the bowl. Remove any seeds that have fallen in and gently break up the fruit into 1?2-inch pieces.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, mix the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add half of the sugar and zest mixture and turn the mixer up to medium high. Mix for 2 minutes, then add the remaining sugar and mix for 4 minutes, making sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula periodically. The butter and sugar should be very light, fluffy, and fragrant.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds after each addition. Periodically stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
On low speed, add the sour cream (and vanilla, if using) followed by the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the fruit segments and juices. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles.
Bake the cake until it is golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes, depending on the pan. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then carefully unmold it onto a rack to cool a bit more before glazing.
To make the glaze
Zest and juice the lemons. Add the zest, confectioners’ sugar, and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Whisk in about 6 tablespoons of the lemon juice. You want the glaze to be thick, but pourable. If the glaze seems too thick to pour, add a few more drops of lemon juice.
When the cake has mostly cooled, use a skewer to poke a few holes into its surface. Drizzle half of the glaze on top of the cake, let it soak in for about 20 minutes, then whisk the remaining glaze until smooth and pour it over the top of the cake. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before serving.
Store leftover citrus bundt cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.