Clementine Upside Down Cake

The natural sweetness of clementines permeates every bite of this delightfully light, moist cake. 

Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup butter (8 tablespoons)
1 cup brown sugar
7-8 clementines, peeled, with white stringy pith removed, and sliced crosswise
1 cup flour, sifted*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons fresh clementine or orange juice
2 teaspoons clementine or orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Place butter in a 9-inch-round baking pan, and place inside of a warm oven until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter. Add the clementine slices, fitting them close together.

In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and stir.

Using a hand mixer, in a metal or glass bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until fluffy. Set aside.

In a separate bowl beat egg yolks with sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add juice, zest, and vanilla extract, and beat well. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat until well combined. Fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Pour cake mixture evenly over the fruit, and smooth with the spatula.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert carefully onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Note: Sifting the flour creates a lighter cake.