1teaspoonorange flower water (it's fine to leave this out if you don't have any)
2/3cupextra virgin olive oil (see headnote)
1 3/4cupsall-purpose flour, (7 3/4 ounces)
whipped cream, crème fraîche, extra tangerine supremes, and/or super good olive oil, for serving (optional)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º. Line a 9x5" loaf pan with a sling of parchment paper (or grease the pan well).
Zest 2 1/2 of the tangerines into a large bowl with the sugar. Rub with your fingers until the sugar is evenly moistened. Set aside.
Supreme the tangerines:
Cut off the top and bottom of a tangerine. Place a cut side down, and use a sharp knife to pare away the skin and pith in a downward motion, following the curve of the fruit (see photo in post, above). Once you've removed all the skin and pith, hold the tangerine in your hand, over a bowl to catch the abundant juice, and cut into the fruit, next to the membrane, to remove segments from their casings (see the other photo, above). These are called 'supremes.' Squeeze the juice out of the remaining lump of membrane and discard. Repeat with the remaining tangerines. Break the supremes up into 1/4" pieces and place in a strainer set over a bowl to drain them a bit.
Measure out 1/3 cup of tangerine juice (if for some reason you have less than that, squeeze another tangerine to get that amount, or use extra crème fraîche to make up the difference). Whisk in the crème fraîche and orange flower water and set aside.
Whisk the eggs into the zesty sugar to combine, then the olive oil. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Whisk 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the sugar/egg/oil mixture until smooth. Whisk in half of the crème fraîche mixture until combined. Repeat until you've used up all the stuff. Stir in the tangerine supremes.
Pour the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pan, and bake until deeply golden on top and a tester (i.e., sharp knife or toothpick or skewer) inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. (The 'press' test didn't work for me here; the center top seemed underbaked, but the tester came out clean regardless and the cake was perfectly baked. So use the darn tester, ok?)
Let the cake cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Use the parchment to lift out the cake.
This cake keeps well for up to 4 days. Serve slices plain, or with a bit of crème fraîche, tangerine supremes, and a drizzle of super-good olive oil.
Adapted from A Good Appetite via Smitten Kitchen.Use any tangerine you like for this cake, such as pages, murcotts, tangelos, fremonts, clementines or honeys; larger fruits will be easier to supreme, so bear that in mind when choosing. Or try blood or regular oranges, or even a grapefruit, pomelo, or meyer lemons; all pair nicely with olive oil.For the olive oil, use something flavorful, but not über-expensive; unless money is no object to you, or your parents own an olive oil farm.I liked the richness that the crème fraîche lent to the cake, and having extra to dollop on the finished cake (you can easily make your own), but you can substitute sour cream, buttermilk or plain, whole milk yogurt if you you prefer.Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings.