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Old-fashioned orange cake

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 10 to 12
Old-fashioned orange cake
1

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

2

Scrub the rind of the orange well. Remove both ends of the orange and cut it into large chunks. Set aside.

3

Place the raisins in a food processor and pulse 6 or 7 times until coarsely chopped. Add the orange chunks and pulse 5 or 6 times to reduce them to evenly sized small pieces. Empty into a small bowl and set aside.

4

Pulse the granulated sugar and shortening together in the food processor 4 or 5 times to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and process in between, scraping down the sides. The mixture should be smooth, light and fluffy. Add three-fourths cup buttermilk and process to combine. The mixture will be very liquid and may look slightly separated.

5

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and add to the processor. Pulse just to combine into a smooth batter. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the orange-raisin mixture and pulse once or twice. Add the walnuts and pulse once; do not over-process.

6

Pour the batter into the pan; bake until the sides have begun to brown and pull away from the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. The cake should still be a little moist in the center.

7

Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and the powdered sugar until smooth. Whisk in the reserved 2 tablespoons of the orange-raisin mixture and spread it over the hot cake. Serve at room temperature.

Marian Wilke notes that the original recipe called for processing the orange and raisins in a meat grinder; that gives you an idea of the size of the chunks that are necessary. She also notes that it should be baked in a metal pan rather than glass, which tends to burn the cake.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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