Make Ahead

Orange Cake (Portokalopita)

January  2, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 12
Author Notes

This is a not so well-known tradtional Greek dessert. There are several variation but the main idea is to use oranges (slices, zest and juice) and the combination of phyllo and custard creme galaktoboureko (semolina, eggs, etc.). Try it and let me know what you think! —Julie Yefsi

What You'll Need
  • 3 orange slices
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 2 pieces cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7-8 cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus some for greasing)
  • some flour for dusting pan
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 greek or strained yogurt
  • Orange zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 1/4 cup fine semolina
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 packet phyllo sheets preferably country-style (thicker)
  1. Heat oven to 330°. Put orange slices, 1 cinnamon stick and a few cloves in a baking dish; pour 1 cup orange juice over top. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake until oranges are very soft, 40–45 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 3?4 cup sugar, the other cinnamon stick, and 1 1?2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 more minutes; remove from heat. Pour syrup over orange slices. Let cool completely.
  3. Grease a baking dish and dust with flour. Open the thawed phyllo package. Take each phyllo one-by-one from the short side, crumble it up in your hands and put it in the baking sheet. Use as many phyllo sheets needed to fill up the baking dish. Put them in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes so that they dry up and become slightly crunchy.
  4. Combine remaining sugar and eggs in a bowl; beat with a hand mixer until pale and thick. Whisk in remaining orange juice, oil, yogurt, zest, cognac and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together semolina and baking powder, whisk into egg mixture. Pour mixture over the slightly pre-baked crunchy phyllo; bake until lightly browned, 35–40 minutes. Pour syrup evenly over cake; let cool. Cut cake into 12 squares and cut orange slices into quarters; top each square with an orange quarter

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