Bits and Bobs
2-3 blood oranges, sliced thin + zest half of one orange and reserve for the cake batter
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
¼ cup greek yogurt, whole fat
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp almond extract
½ orange, zest
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Prep the oranges:
Zest half of one of the oranges and set aside, then slice all into thin rounds (I ended up using about 2 ½ oranges, but this will vary depending on size of oranges and slice thickness). In large sauce pan, stir together water and cup of sugar. Set over low-medium heat and allow sugar to melt (the syrup will become clear when the sugar has dissolved). Add the slices of orange to the pan, aiming for a single layer if possible. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to boil. Turn down heat slightly and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. The rinds will have started to become slightly translucent. Remove the orange slices from the syrup and place on parchment paper to allow to cool. Keep syrup on heat for another 2 minutes to allow it to thicken just a bit more.
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan. Pour a little of the reduced syrup in the bottom of the pan and arrange the cooled orange slices to cover the bottom completely. A little overlap is OK.
Stir together the melted butter, the greek yogurt, and the 1 ½ cups of sugar until well combined and a nice creamy white. Add the almond extract and reserved orange zest. Mix in the eggs one at time, stirring well after each addition. Finally, mix in the flour and salt mixing until just combined.
Dollop the cake batter over the oranges in the pan, then smooth into a nice even layer (this will prevent the oranges from potentially pulling up from the bottom of the pan). Bake for 35-40 minutes. The top will brown and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.
Allow cake to cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to help release, then using pot holders or a kitchen towel to protect your hands from the residual heat, invert the cake onto a plate. You can gently tap the plate with the inverted pan on top on the counter to help with the release, but this shouldn’t be necessary if you greased the pan well (I recommend using butter for this recipe instead of nonstick cooking spray). If you have leftover syrup, you can brush this on to the top to add some extra shine and color. Allow cake to cool completely before serving. Enjoy!