Celebrate Citrus Season with Homegrown Recipes
by Merinda Carstens on Aug 06, 2021
BREAD & BUTTER PUDDING WITH A MARMALADE GLAZE AND CINNAMON & CITRUS BUTTER
The flavoured butter:
7 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
A large pinch of ground nutmeg
A large pinch of ground cinnamon
Zest of 1 large orange, clementine or tango
8 x ½ inch slices of good-quality bread
9 large free range eggs
¾ cup superfine sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, scored lengthways, seeds removed
4 tbsp good quality fine-cut marmalade
Preheat the oven to 180°C. First make your flavoured butter by mixing the butter with the nutmeg, cinnamon and orange zest. Use a little of it to butter a medium sized shallow ovenproof dish. Butter the bread with the flavoured butter, then cut each slice in half diagonally. Put the slices in the buttered dish. Now separate the eggs, reserving all 9 yolks but just 1 egg white. Whisk together the egg yolks and egg white with the sugar, then gently heat the milk and cream in a saucepan with the vanilla seeds and bean. Pour into the eggs, stirring all the time. Remove the vanilla bean, then pour the mixture over the bread and leave to soak for at least 20 minutes. Put the dish inside a roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the roasting pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the custard has just set. Meanwhile, gently warm the marmalade, remove the dish from the oven and brush the marmalade over the top. Pop the dish back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Allow it to cool and firm up slightly before serving with crème fraîche or mascarpone cheese.
200ml lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
Grated zest of 4 lemons
200g caster sugar
4 free range eggs
4 free range egg yolks
180g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Put all the ingredients in a large, heavy-based saucepan, leaving out half the butter. Place over a medium heat and, using a hand whisk, whisk constantly while you cook the curd. Reduce the heat if it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the curd reaches boiling point, you will notice large bubbles coming to the surface. Continue whisking vigorously for another minute and then remove from the heat. Off the heat, add the remaining butter and whisk until it has melted. Pass the curd through a sieve and into a container. Cover the surface with cling film, allow it to come to room temperature then chill for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, for it to firm up well. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
6 unwaxed lemons
6 tbsp coarse sea salt
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 large red chilli
Juice of 6 lemons
Before starting, get a jar just large enough to accommodate all the lemons tightly. To sterilise it, fill it up with boiling water, leave for a minute and then empty it. Allow it to dry out naturally without wiping it so it remains sterilised. Wash the lemons and cut a deep cross all the way from the top to 2cm from the base, so you are left with 4 quarters attached. Stuff each lemon with a spoonful of salt and place in the jar. Push the lemons in tightly so they are squeezed together well. Seal the jar and leave for at least a week. After this initial period, remove the lid and press the lemons as hard as you can to squeeze as much of the juice out of them as possible. Add the rosemary, chilli and lemon juice and cover with a thin layer of olive oil. Seal the jar and leave it in a cool place for at least 4 weeks. The longer you leave them, the better the flavour.
ROASTED SWEET POTATO WITH CITRUS DRESSING
2 sweet potatoes (about 850g in total)
3 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
4 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
salt and pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange, clementine or tangerine juice
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Start with the sweet potatoes. Don't peel them! Cut them into 2cm cubes, spread them out on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper, mix well with your hands and then roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until just tender. Turn them over gently half way through cooking.
To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl with some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. When the potatoes are ready, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot. Add the spring onions, parsley, coriander and chilli. Pour the dressing over and toss gently to blend, then season to taste. Serve at once or at room temperature.
LEMON MERINGUE TARTLETS
½ quantity of lemon curd (see recipe, above)
6 pre-baked tartlet cases
120g caster sugar
2 free range egg whites
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Spoon the cold lemon curd into the tart cases, filling them three-quarters full. Leave aside, preferably in the fridge. To make the meringue, spread the sugar over an oven tray lined with baking parchment. Place in the hot oven for 5-6 minutes. The sugar should become very hot but musn’t begin to dissolve. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150°C. At the last minute of heating up the sugar, place the egg whites in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer. Whisk on high speed for a few seconds until they begin to froth up. Now carefully pour the hot sugar onto the whisking whites in a slow stream. Once finished, continue whisking for a good 15 minutes, until the meringue is firm, shiny and cold. Use 2 spoons to dispense the meringue on top of the curd and create a pattern. At this point you can either leave the meringue totally white or you can place it in the oven for 1-3 minutes to brown the top very lightly. Serve at once or chill for up to 12 hours.
Ratafia are liqueurs, produced in France, by steeping fruits and peels in Armagnac. We have adapted the recipe and replaced the Armagnac with brandy
6 large oranges, or 8 clementines or tangos
4 cinnamon sticks
1 cup sugar
Wash 2-3 of the fruit well and dry. Using a zester remove the outer zest only and cut into very thin strips. Juice all of the fruit and strain; you will need 2 cups of juice. Combine the juice and sugar in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let stand until completely cool and add the brandy. Put the zest and cinnamon sticks in a glazed stoneware crock or glass pitcher. Pour in the citrus juice mixture, cover and let stand for 1 month at room temperature, stirring from time to time with a clean wooden spoon. Strain through coffee filter papers into bottles. Cover tightly and let age for at least 1 month before serving chilled.
ROASTED LEMON POTATOES
750g potatoes, unpeeled
1 lemon, finely sliced
2 bay leaves
Black pepper, freshly ground
3 cloves garlic, left whole
60ml olive oil
Slice the unpeeled potatoes and place in a deep bowl with the finely sliced lemon, bay leaves, coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic (leave the cloves whole) and oil. Shake until the potato slices are covered in oil. Spoon the potato mixture into a baking dish, cover with the foil and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until tender and golden.
Fruit butters are delicious with scones, croissants, pancakes or your favourite morning toast. The butter will keep for several days in the fridge or many weeks in the freezer.
8 tbsp (1 stick) sweet butter
⅓ cup orange or any citrus marmalade,
½ tsp confectioners' sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange, clementine or tango
Bring the butter to room temperature and blend all ingredients together. Shape into a log, wrap with parchment paper and keep in the fridge until needed. Return to room temperature before serving.
ORANGE PECAN BREAD
8 tbsp (1 stick) sweet butter, softened
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
Grated rind of 1 large or 2 small oranges, clementines or tangos
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
½ cup fresh orange, clementine or tango juice
1 cup shelled pecans, chopped
Citrus butter (see recipe, above)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease an 8½ x 4½ inch loaf pan. Cream the butter. Add three-quarters cup sugar gradually, beating with an electric mixer until light. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, and the grated orange rind. Sift the flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt, and add the dry mixture to the batter alternately with ½ cup of orange juice, beginning and ending with flour. Gently mix in the pecans. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them carefully into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes. Meanwhile, make the citrus butter and smear over the bread as soon as the bread is removed from the oven. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
BEETROOT WITH ORANGE
450g beetroot, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
Juice of ½ orange, clementine or tango
Salt and pepper
Heat all the ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the beetroot is glazed. Season to taste and serve at room temperature with venison or duck.
CITRUS IN CHOCOLATE
4 large oranges, or 6-8 clementines or tangos
250g good quality bitter or plain chocolate
Peel, de-pith and completely skin the orange segments. Pat each of them dry with a tea cloth to remove any excess juice. Cover 2 baking trays with sheets of waxed grease-proof paper. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt with 15ml water on the top of a double boiler. Drop the orange segments, one at a time, into the chocolate, coating both sides. Remove with tongs onto the paper and then place the trays in the fridge to set. Serve at room temperature.
CITRUS AND ONION SALAD
The answer when you’re looking for an offbeat salad that will complement Italian or other Mediterranean menus. It should not sit around since the oranges soon begin tasting like onions and the charm of the whole thing is lost. Serve within 30 minutes of assembly.
6 large, firm, juicy oranges, clementines or tangos
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 tbsp best quality olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced paper-thin
1 cup black olives
¼ cup fresh chives, snipped
Black pepper, freshly ground
Peel the fruit and cut into 4-5 crosswise slices. Arrange on a shallow serving dish and sprinkle with vinegar, olive oil and oregano and leave for 30 minutes. Arrange the sliced onion and black olives over, sprinkle with chives, and grind on the pepper. Delicious served with pork and chicken.
LEMON CHICKEN WITH ZA'ATAR
With thanks to Sami Tamimi
1 whole chicken, segmented into legs, thighs and breasts (or about 1kg chicken legs or supremes, skin on, if you prefer)
2 onions, peeled, sliced in half, then each half cut into 3 wedges
2 heads of garlic, skin on, sliced in half, widthways
2 tsp sumac
¾ tsp ground allspice
4 tbsp za'atar
90ml olive oil
200ml chicken stock (or water)
5g parsley, finely chopped
30g flaked almonds, toasted
Salt and black pepper
Slice 2 of the lemons into ½cm-thick pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Finely grate the zest of the remaining lemon and set this aside for later. Squeeze the same lemon to get about 1½ tablespoons of juice and add this to the mixing bowl along with the chicken, onions, garlic, sumac, allspice, 2 tablespoons of za'atar, 2 tablespoons of oil, the stock or water, 1½ teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well to combine, then cover with a large plate and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight, if you have time).
Half an hour or an hour before baking, take the chicken out of the fridge. It should be at room temperature before going into the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Transfer the chicken to a large baking tray, skin side up, and pour over all the marinade and lemon slices. Drizzle the chicken with a tablespoon of oil and bake for about 45 minutes, giving everything a bit of a stir halfway through, until the chicken is golden and cooked through and the onions have taken on some colour. Transfer to a serving platter along with the lemon slices and any juices that have collected at the bottom of the tray. Some people will love to eat the lemon slices and others won't. Either way, serve them with the chicken: they look great. Towards the end of the cooking time for the chicken, combine the parsley, lemon zest, the remaining 2 tablespoons of za'atar and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl. Spoon this over the chicken, finish with the almonds and serve.
ORAGE AND FENNEL SALAD
This is the kind of salad that is eaten at the start of an Italian feast as it cleans the palate and has wonderful flavours. Even though untraditional, it works well with feta cheese or goats’ cheese crumbled over the top, as both work really well with orange.
1 bulb of fennel, washed and finely sliced
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 cucumber, finely sliced
A large handful of radishes, with tops, washed and finely sliced
4 oranges, clementines or tangos peeled, segmented and pips removed
Optional: feta or goats’ cheese
Good quality herb or red wine vinegar
Good quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl combine 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 6 or so tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Mix well. Combine the fennel, onion, cucumber, radishes and oranges, clementines or tangos in a bowl. Taste, season with salt and pepper, then divide between your plates and sprinkle with crumbled feta or goats’ cheese. Serve straight away.