Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Thinly slice the
unpeeled oranges then put them in a
saucepan with 400ml/14fl oz water and
the sugar. Stir everything around and
poach the oranges, covered, over a
medium heat for 20 minutes until the pith
feels soft when tested with a sharp knife.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Grease and line a 20cm springform
cake tin and arrange the nicest poached
orange slices (about seven) in the
bottom. Strain the remaining orange
slices, keeping the poaching liquid. Purée
100g/4oz of the oranges together with
75ml/21⁄2 fl oz of the liquid, to make a
smooth mixture (a hand blender is
great for this).
To make the cake, mix the flour, baking
powder, almonds and poppy seeds
together and put aside. Whisk the eggs
with the caster sugar until the mixture
looks like softly whipped cream. This will
take 5-7 minutes. Immediately fold in the
orange purée very gently using a spatula,
so you don’t knock out all the air.
Fold the dry ingredients into the foamy
orange mix, stopping as soon as it’s
combined. Carefully pour the mixture into
the prepared tin and bake for 40-45
minutes until golden brown and springy to
the touch. Test with a skewer – if it comes
out clean from the centre, the cake is
cooked. Remove from the oven and leave
to cool in the tin. When cool, turn the cake
out so the orange slices are uppermost.
While the cake is cooling, make the
curd. Beat the eggs with the orange and
lemon juices, then strain into a bowl. Add
the sugar, butter and orange and lemon
zest, then place the bowl over a pan one-third
full of boiling water. Stir over the heat
until the mixture thickens – it’s ready
when it thickly coats the back of your
spoon (this could take up to 30 minutes,
so be patient). Leave to cool.
Cut the cake across twice, into three
sections. Brush middle and bottom layers
with some of the leftover syrup. Divide the
curd between the layers and spread it out,
then sandwich all three sections together.
Brush the top with more syrup. Let the
cake sit for a few hours to allow flavours to
develop. It keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge