My kids love clementines. Or at least, they did for a few weeks. But by our third box of the season, they shunned them. Rather than just eat the remainder of the box myself (because, let’s face it, I’m kind of sick of them too), I wanted to turn them into something delicious.
Imagine my surprise when I found a decided lack of clementine recipes online. Since I needed to get those babies juiced and zested before they turned into little stale clementine rocks, I made some lovely clementine curd that I could freeze and use later.
Curd can be intimidating, but this recipe was very easy to follow and even bragged of being “foolproof”. I made a lemon curd-filled cake for each table at my wedding and being somewhat of an expert on curd after that experience, I agree. Bonus: The curd is fabulous. It’s got a bright clementine zing and creamy texture.
And the kids are eating it on any carbohydrate they can find. Score one for mom.
The curd was intended to accompany a clementine cheesecake, which I plan to make for a party later this week, but in the meantime I became fixated on making a clementine jelly roll with any leftover curd I could pry away from the children. Because I couldn’t find any recipes specific to clementines, I cobbled together a jelly roll base cake with my favorite vanilla whipped cream and the curd.
Man, did I luck out on the first try with this combo. The cake is so soft and moist and sings with a hint of citrus in every bite without overpowering the delicate vanilla filling. And if you happen to like a more pronounced citrus flavor, serve it with additional curd.
Vanilla Clementine Roll
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh clementine juice
1 teaspoon grated clementine zest
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Freshly grated zest of one clementine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
¼ tsp almond extract
Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl for about 2 minutes or until light, pale, and fluffy. While mixing, slowly add eggs and yolks. Beat the mixture for 1 minute before mixing in the clementine juice. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled, because it’ll get smooth as it cooks and the butter melts.
Cook the mixture in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 20-25 minutes (lemon curd only takes 15, but I’ve found the clementine curd takes me longer), or until it’s thickening and it registers at least 170 degrees on a candy thermometer (I usually end up around 175 before I get it to the thickness I want). Just don’t let the mixture boil. Also, remember it’ll continue thickening as it cools and then chills, so don’t feel like you have to get it to its final thickness on the stove. When it’s done, it should leave a clean path on the back of a wooden spoon when you run your finger down it.
Remove the clementine curd from the heat and stir in the clementine zest. Transfer the mixture to a wide bowl and place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a film from developing. Place the curd in the refrigerate to chill it. Cover it tightly and keep if you about a week in the fridge or for about 2 months in the freezer.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a greased jelly-roll pan, 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 1 inch, with foil. Grease foil and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, zest, and vanilla until thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beaters are lifted.
In a large bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites with salt until they hold soft peaks. Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar gradually and beat whites until they hold stiff peaks.
Stir one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten it and fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Sift flour and cornstarch over batter and fold in until batter is just combined.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake in middle of oven 6 to 9 minutes, or until cake is lightly colored and springs back when pressed lightly.
Dust a kitchen towel generously with confectioners’ sugar and invert cake onto it. Remove foil carefully from cake. Starting with a long side, roll up cake loosely and gently in the towel and cool 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare filling.
Beat cream, sugar and almond extract, then fold in zest.
Carefully unroll cake and spread with 1 cup of clementine curd. Top with vanilla cream and spread in an even layer. Reroll and chill, covered loosely, at least 2 hours or overnight. Slice and serve with additional curd drizzled decoratively over top.
*Recipe adapted from Willow Bird Baking & Gourmet Magazine