Final exams. Holiday parties. End-of-semester ragers. Shopping, shopping, and more shopping. That last chance to hook up with the dude from Middle Eastern History, or your eagerly awaited reunion with your hometown honey. You get the picture: this time of year, there’s a lot on your plate. So if you’re looking for something to fill up your plate (literally), may I be the first to suggest: clementines! Not only are they portable, affordable, and in-season, they’re powerhouses of Vitamin C—quite necessary to combat your surely-tired immune system from supporting your hectic schedule.
1. They’re the poor-man’s Mandarin oranges. Peel apart the baby slices and toss in your salad (I like them with feta cheese, peppers, craisins, and walnuts, with a little oil and vinegar for kick).
2. Two clementines a day give you 120% of your daily Vitamin C. Feeling a little sniffly? Toss ‘em in your bag on your way to class to nibble on during your lecture. (You’ll be glad you didn’t skip!)
3. Peel apart the slices of three clementines and toss in a blender with some vanilla frozen yogurt and dash of cocoa powder for a light, refreshing smoothie
Want to get fancy? If you’re preparing for a holiday shindig, you’ll be sure to impress with this torte from Joy of Baking, which will stand out among the heaps of gingerbread men and chocolates. (Bonus! It’s gluten-free!)
1 pound seedless clementines (4 to 6 depending on size)
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups almond meal or ground almonds
Place the whole clementines (with skin) in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer the clementines for about two hours. Drain and let the oranges cool completely.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Butter and line a 9 inch (23 cm) pan (springform, preferably) with parchment paper. Set aside.
Once the clementines are completely cooled, slice in half. Place the clementine halves (skins and all) in your blender, along with the eggs, and process until thoroughly blended. Add the vanilla extract and process until incorporated. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, baking powder, salt and ground almonds. Add the orange mixture to the almond mixture and whisk or stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (cover the cake with foil about halfway through baking to prevent over browning). Remove from oven and let cool. Once it has done so completely, remove the sides of the springform pan.
This cake is best after it has been allowed to sit for a few days. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or garnish with almond slices.