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More tasty orange recipes

Caramelised oranges

You will need: a small sharp knife, a saucepan, a hob and a serving dish

8 oranges
75g ( 2.5 oz ) light brown sugar
½ table spoon of orange juice
long strips of orange zest

Segmenting is when you cut citrus fruit in such a way that you are left with each section of the flesh without any pith, seed, skin or membrane, it takes a bit of practice but once you get the knack it is a very satisfying process.  You can always slice the oranges if you are in a hurry, it will but much quicker, but not as pleasant to eat.

To segment cut off both ends of the orange with a small sharp knife.  Place the orange on a chopping board and slice off the remaining skin by working the knife down the sides of the orange, follow the rounded shape of the orange with your knife.  Once all the skin is removed slide your knife into the side of one of the segments then gently flip the segment out from its casing of membrane.  You should be left with an oblong slice of orange flesh with nothing else attached.

Lay the orange segments into your serving dish.

Melt the sugar in the small amount of juice. Add the slivers orange zest, these are made either with a zester or by cutting up a thin slice of orange peel with a knife. You can also add a small splash of Grand Marnier, orange liquor, if you have some on hand.  Let the sugar melt over a medium heat until it has turned golden brown. Pour the syrup over the oranges when it is still warm.  It will form a sugary, crunchy crust.

The caramilised oranges are delicious served with a good vanilla ice cream or with pancakes for crepe suzette.




Oranges are not the only fruit, but they are good.....

The orange is not only a fruit that gave its name to a wonderful colour but it has traveled across the globe in the pockets of explorers and has gone on to become the one best selling fruit in the world.  Christopher Columbus brought the seeds of oranges and lemons  to plant along his sailing route. Oranges have enormous health benefits and for this reason he used them to help prevent scurvy among his sailing crew.

Oranges are extremely versatile and can be used in the kitchen in a myriad of ways.  The zest is an invaluable flavouring in baking and what could nicer than a cool glass of it's freshly squeezed juice.  A glass of orange juice is a great start to any day but if you are planning an extra special day you can try topping up your juice with some bubbly for the classic Mimosa.

We have become used to oranges being available all year round, but strangely enough they are at their best in our least sunny months, all winter the wonderful juicy fruit arrive on our shores from the southern tips of europe, bringing with them a far off ray of sunshine.

When shopping for oranges it is best to choose ones that are heavy for their size, this means they contain a lot of juice.  All citrus fruit produce the optimum amount of juice when they are stored at room temperature, so keep them away from the fridge.  Oranges last quite a while so refrigeration should not be necessary.

Chocolate Roulade

This roulade recipe is great and it is particularly excellent for people with a wheat allergy, as it contains no flour.  I like to serve it with orange curd but it is equally nice with some  jam and fresh cream.

Served it with orange curd and fresh cream

You will need: a mixer or a whisk, a saucepan and hob, a wooden spoon, a zester, a Swiss roll tin and an oven.

140g ( 5 oz ) dark chocolate
juice and zest of 1 orange
2 eggs separated
70g ( 2.5 oz ) caster sugar

Melt the chocolate, the juice and the zest.  Add half the sugar and the egg yolks.

Meanwhile beat the other half of the sugar with the egg whites.  Whip until they form stiff white peaks.

Both the bowl and whisk need to be very clean for this because if any fat or grease gets into the mixture the eggs will not fluff up too well.  I wipe down the inside of the bowl with a bit of light vinegar to get rid of any residue of butter that may be there. 

Gently fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture making sure to preserve the bubbles.

Put in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 (you will know it is done when it starts cracking on the top)

Turn the roulade onto a clean damp tea towel and leave it to cool.

Spread it with cream and orange curd and roll gently when it is still in the tea towel.

You can put jam in the roulade if you do not have the time or inclination to make the curd. 

Orange curd

Lemon curd is very popular but other citrus fruit also make great curd.  I like to put a dash of lemon juice into this recipe but orange makes up the bulk of the flavour.  I think it works great with chocolate.

You will need:  a saucepan, a whisk and a hob.

60g ( 2 oz ) butter melted
130g ( 4.5 oz) caster sugar
juice of 1 orange mixed with the juice of a quarter of a lemon
zest of 2 oranges
two eggs and the yolk of one other egg

Melt your butter over a low heat.  Stir in your sugar, the zest and the juice.

In a bowl whisk your two eggs add the yolk.  You need to have them thoroughly mixed together.

I now take the butter mixture off the heat and add in the eggs whisking all the time.  When the two are combined you can place the saucepan back on the heat and keep stirring with the whisk or a wooden-spoon.  I keep the heat on low to medium for this part of the process.

You need to keep stirring until the mixture begins to thicken.  This may take a while – up to fifteen minutes!  It is not easy going but believe me it is worth it, as the saying goes the best things come to those who wait.




Juggling hot scones

My mothers kitchen is still my favorite place for breakfast, light flooding through the windows early in the  morning, the smell of scones fresh out of the oven and coffee bubbling away on the hob.   Siblings wake up and fall sleepily to the table, the supply of homemade jam is dipped into, and the clatter and hum of the table being set and toaster popping starts off the day.

My mother is an expert scone maker, her scones somehow always taste better than anyone else's.  She swears it is because she uses a small scone cutter and I have to say I think she might be right.  Also it means you can have a second or third helping without feeling guilty.  I love to help myself to a scone when they are just out of the oven and have to be juggled between your fingers, they are still so tantalisingly warm. I smother them in butter, which melts down through the lovely bread, and then top them with a dollop of homemade jam, or, if I have some on hand, whipped cream instead of the butter, glorious!

This my Mom's scone recipe. You should have enough dough for 9 large scones (2.5 inches) or twice that many if you are using a smaller cutter


plain flour          450g (1 lb)
salt                    1 very level tsp
baking powder  2 very level tsp
butter                80g (3 oz)
castor sugar      80g (3 oz)
eggs                  2
milk                   enough to make 300mls(10 fl oz) when added to the eggs
icing sugar        to dust

Put the oven to 180

Mix the dry ingredients together.

To create a very level tea spoon I dip my spoon into the ingredient required and rub off the powder with my finger so there is a slight dip in the tea spoon.  It is not flat to the surface but concave. 

Rub in the butter until you form a texture close to breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar.

Crack the eggs into a measuring jug and pour in your milk until it reaches 300mls.  Lightly mix the egg and milk and add to the mixture. 

The dough should be soft but not sticky.  Like pastry the less you handle the scone dough the lighter the scones will be.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat to about an inch and a half thickness.  Cut with your cutter or an upturned glass. Place apart on baking tray.

You can add many things to this basic recipe.  We most often add raisins for fruit scones, but you could chop up any other dried fruit, even add chocolate chips if you like for a treat.

Bake for 15 minutes if using a large cutter of 8 to 10 minutes if a small cutter.

I like to dust with a light sprinkling of icing sugar soon after I take them from the oven.




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