Make this stunning cake during the winter months when clementines are at their sweetest and best. It is a light and fresh alternative to the heavier food around at this time of year. When serving this cake, I like to cut open an extra pomegranate for its seeds, so that each slice is served with a generous amount of pomegranate ‘jewels’.
Cook the clementines by placing them in a lidded saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, turn down to a low heat and simmer for 2 hours, topping up the water when necessary, until the fruit is soft and a skewer pierces it easily. Drain and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease the bottom and sides of a 23 cm (9 inch) springform ‘crown’ cake tin. Line the base with baking parchment.
Cut the cooled clementines in half, remove any pips and then blitz the whole fruits, including the skin, in a food processor until a smooth pulp forms.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then mix in the ground almonds (almond meal) and baking powder with a wooden spoon or spatula. Then add the clementine pulp to the rest of the ingredients, folding lightly in until well combined.
Pour into the tin and bake for 20 minutes, rotate the tin and bake for a further 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
If the top is looking a bit too brown, reduce the temperature to 170°C/325°F/ Gas Mark 3 for the last 10 minutes of baking. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.
To make the pomegranate jewel syrup, in a saucepan bring the pomegranate juice, honey and pomegranate molasses to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat then break open the pomegranate over the saucepan, letting the seeds and juices fall into the syrup. Stir well.
When the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin and transfer to a serving plate.
Pour over the syrup and seeds, letting them fall into the middle of the cake, then slice and serve with extra pomegranate seeds.
Keeps for up to five days in a sealed container, preferably in the fridge. It freezes well too.
If you don’t have a springform ‘crown’ cake tin you can make this in any 20–23 cm (8–9 inch) regular round springform cake tin.
Pomegranate molasses is made from the concentrated juice of pomegranates and has a brown-red hue. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and has a tangy and slightly bitter flavour. Mixed with a little honey it makes a sweet and fruity glaze or syrup for cakes as shown here, especially complementing citrus.