This is a continuation of Android and clojure, 2 apks and a proxy.
I finally managed to get acceptable build times by pre-dexing the clojure jar. You can see the good sauce over at github, in DexterActivity.java. It turns out there are 3 goats to sacrifice.
Firstly, the DexClassLoader takes a filesystem path, but the pre-dexed jar is a resource in the APK. The pathForApk method copies the apk out of the resource and into a cache directory that the DexClassLoader can get at.
Next, you need to make sure that Clojure uses the right class loader. The way I made this happen is by building the Clojure runtime into one apk, my clojure code into another apk, then using a single DexClassLoader for both apks. Then, tell the Clojure runtime to use that DexClassLoader. That juju starts at line 36.
Finally, you need to use reflection to load up the clojure classes. Line 43 is the responsible party.
And it all works. This drags down the build time to within reasonable limits. Alas, the startup time is still too expensive. If I tilt again at this windmill, it will be to break up the clojure jar into a bunch of smaller APKs, and write a class loader that loads those smaller APKs lazily.