Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

My husband, kids and I were in Captiva, Florida with friends during Easter.  I was swimming instead of baking this year and so I did not get a chance to make a dessert.  Last week, I found this recipe by accident and decided it wasn’t too late to serve my family Schiacciata alla Fiorentina or “Orange Easter Cake”.  This is a good cake and as the recipe promises a very easy one to make.  The cake is golden when it comes out of the oven and I taste the nutmeg first which warms the flavor of orange.  It is perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee perfectly French pressed with cinnamon.

It’s not, however, my childrens’ favorite although, as the days went on and I began toasting pieces of the cake, my one son became a fan of the toasty flavor.  I did receive the following comments from my little food critics: “Where’s the frosting?”  “What are those black dots?”  (nutmeg)  My husband says he can take it or leave it.  I like it and will make it again one of these afternoons and freeze it into portion-size pieces.

I have to say when I think of oranges and nutmeg, I think of Christmas time.  The warm, citrus- spicy aromas that filled my kitchen seemed a little out of place.  I will most likely then, save this “Easter” cake to brighten up the cold days of next winter.

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina (recipe from allrecipes.com)

2 c all-purpose flour

1 c white sugar

7 Tb warm milk

¼ c olive oil

1 orange, juice and zest

2 eggs

1 ½ Tb baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 360 (yes, 360) degrees.  Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter.  Mix flour, sugar, warm milk, olive oil, orange juice and zest, eggs, baking powder, vanilla extract and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix until batter is well combined (I used a hand mixer on low speed for 30 seconds and then medium speed for about a minute). Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in a preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean – about 30 minutes. Since my oven bakes fast, I began checking for doneness at about 20 minutes and every 5 minutes after.

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