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Fruit for Clementine Cake

Asked by Sophie's. Answered on 31st July 2014

Full question

Hi there! Sorry for a nutty question, but in the Clementine Cake does the fruit go in as a whole, skins on and all? Or do we boil them for two hours with skins removed? Many Thanks, FG

Our answer

Nigella's Clementine Cake recipe (from How To Eat and on the Nigella website) is made with clementines that are cooked until they are extremely soft. It may sound odd but you do indeed boil the fruits whole and unpeeled. If the fruits were peeled they would pretty much dissolve into the water as they cooked, but they remain whole if the skins are left on.

In addition, there is a lot of flavour in the zest of the fruit so using the skin imparts extra flavour to the cake. The pith of a citrus fruit can be quite bitter but in clementines there is usually very little pith which makes clementines a good choice for this type of cake. You may like to give the clementines a good scrub with hot soapy water before boiling them, to help remove some of the edible wax that can coat the fruits (this is added to protect them during shipping). Rinse the scrubbed fruits well before adding them to the saucepan.

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