Make the most of an abundance of citrus

With an abundance of citrus fruits now in our stores, Rachel Allen suggests adding zest to sweet and savoury dishes with oranges.

Every year, I make great big batches of marmalade from the glorious glut of oranges that this time of year provides. Right now, citrus trees are at their peak, the oranges at their sweetest and most orange!

It's also the time when a glass of orange juice tastes the best, freshly squeezed that morning – ideally, by my husband. Oranges make such divine juice, with none of the acid sharpness of grapefruits or lemons.

Oranges' sweetness makes them the perfect fit for desserts. A simple orange cake can be lovely all by itself, though oranges also take embellishments well, such as the aromatic spices of North Africa or the buttery taste of almonds.

Orange curd – like lemon curd – is so easy to make. It's much faster than marmalade and is ready for your toast in minutes. Here, though, I've used it to add extra richness and moisture to my orange and almond cake.

The tart recipe, opposite, is a luxuriant dessert for a special occasion. The custard is flavoured with oranges and the warming spice of cardamom. The velvet custard envelopes the soft, sweet dates, both providing perfect contrast to the crisp pastry beneath.

Oranges aren't just for desserts. I particularly like using orange segments in salads. This peeling technique ensures you have no tough, bitter pith and can keep the juices for use in the salad dressing. The salad here offsets the orange's sweetness with a sharp dressing and piquant red onions.

Related Recipes:

Orange and almond cake with orange curd
Avocado, orange and red onion salad
Date, orange and cardamom tart

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Sunday Indo Life Magazine
Photography by Tony Gavin

Shaneod May 30, 2014 News