Line the base and sides of a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Put the blood orange juice and 6 tablespoons of the strawberry conserve in a large frying pan with 150ml water. Bring to boil, stirring until the conserve has melted.
Add the orange slices in an even layer and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes or until the slices are translucent and soft. Lift the slices from the pan using a slotted spoon and use them to line the base and sides of the cake tin. Reserve the poaching liquid.
Mix together the flour, almonds, polenta and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Beat together the butter and sugar until very pale and creamy in a separate large bowl. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a spoonful of the dry ingredients between each addition.
Fold in the remaining dry ingredients with the orange zest, juice, vanilla essence and poppy seeds.
Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C and continue to bake for a further 25 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons of conserve into the reserved poaching liquid and bring to the boil. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to a sticky syrup. If using, stir in the vodka and set aside.
Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool. Brush or spoon over about half the strawberry syrup until all the orange slices are glazed.
Serve in wedges with the remaining syrup and a generous spoon of creme fraiche.
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