Sunny selection of citrus sweets

JOSEPH BEAUMONT
Last updated 15:02 19/06/2014
Oranges
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Why bake or make desserts when you share your kitchen with a domestic goddess? Not only is the DG a top baker et cetera - just run a tape around my waistline - she is also a good sport, sometimes leaving the pud course to me.

In which case I like to whip up something citrusy.

Lemon curd is an all-time favourite, but here's a great twist: fold a cup of whipped cream into half a cup of curd and serve it with apple pie. Yum!

To make your own curd, remove zest from three large lemons (use a zester or peeler, and avoid the bitter pith). Squeeze lemons and place juice, zest and 1 1/2 sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring to combine.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Add 120g butter, cut into small pieces, and stir until it has melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir three lightly beaten eggs into mixture until well blended.

Return pan to a lowish heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 10-15 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats the spoon.

(If the curd boils, it will curdle.) Remove from heat; the curd will thicken as it cools.

This lime syrup is sublime poured over anything creamy - including vanilla icecream! Put 110g caster sugar and 110ml water into a small, heavy based saucepan. Bring slowly to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the zest from a lime (removed with a potato peeler and cut into fine strips) and simmer very gently for 15 minutes.

Mix one level teaspoon arrowroot and 110ml fresh lime juice - about three limes - in a cup and pour into pan, stirring constantly. Allow it to reach simmering point again; it will have thickened slightly and become clear. Allow to cool before using.

Today's recipe is a straightforward pound cake with a delicious orangey tang that I adapted from a Rick Stein recipe years ago. Wonderful with a cuppa, or served with whipped cream, crme fraiche or yoghurt.

ORANGE CAKE (serves 6-8)

250g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
250g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
250g self-raising flour
85ml freshly squeezed orange juice
For the icing
125g icing sugar
5 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice

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  1. Heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease and then line a 22cm clip-sided cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Using an electric whisk, cream butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until pale.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well between each one. (You may need to add a spoonful of flour with the last egg to prevent mixture from curdling.)
  5. Beat in orange zest.
  6. Add flour in one go and mix in well, then slowly stir in orange juice.
  7. Spoon mixture into tin and bake centre oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. If cake starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with a sheet of lightly buttered foil.
  8. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack, then carefully remove sides and base of tin and peel off paper.
  9. Transfer to a serving plate.
  10. Sift icing sugar into a small bowl and stir in orange juice until you have a spreadable consistency.
  11. Spread icing over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides, and leave to set.
  12. Serve cut into slices.

 

- The Southland Times

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