Oh my darling Clementines, you are in season again. Now residing in the central coast citrus circle, the crops are plentiful, especially my favorite Pixie Clementines. What better way than to use in a cake and even better use the whole fruit, Pixie Poppy Seed Cake, the sweetest season.
Citrus season is everything up here in the Central Coast of California in February. The trees are laden with fruit, the sharp winter sun brightens color popping out from the dark green foliage of the trees. I have shared on the blog about my growing up in the citrus groves, a stones throw from a Sunkist processing plant.
Once again I find myself in the thick of it, loving the excess of citrus that surrounds me. Along with the groves, neighbors share their fruit, always more than they can use. I donate the oranges from my mature tree to the local food bank. 100 pounds on the first picking, they will be back to harvest the rest. Something I can do to help during these difficult times.
PIXIE POPPY SEED CAKE
My neighbors have a Pixie tangerine and Meyer Lemon tree that they have allowed me to pick anytime I need fruit. This is a blessing. I have posted my marmalade from the Meyer Lemons and a whole-fruit Orange Cake from my own garden oranges but a Pixie tangerine cake along with poppy seeds seemed right. These lovely little cakes are a play on the classic poppy seed bread and make use of the bountiful tangerines. A sweet glazes finishes things off.
Once you prepare the tangerines, the cake batter comes together quickly. I baked two cakes in paper baking pans so I could give them as gifts to friends. You may also bake the cake in a standard loaf pan. The tea & sugar glaze is a bit like having a cup of tea with the cake. A cup of tea is also highly recommended.
CALIFORNIA CITRUS SEASON
Take advantage of the citrus season, you will find many varieties available in the markets. Savor the season.
As always, enjoy. B