No, I'm not being facetious. Are yours just orange? Or are they a lovely pinky-red colour?
In the work fruit bowl last week were red oranges. Not blood oranges, but incredibly juicy globes with rosy flesh - so pretty! They reminded me of pink grapefruit, so I was surprised by how sweet they were (my mind was expecting something lip-puckeringly tart). The label mentioned lycopene, I'm sure, so perhaps they'd been crossed with a tomato? Hmm. Best not ask.
So at the end of the week, I snaffled the leftover red oranges and whispered to them: you are destined for something great.
What more could a piece of fruit aspire to, at this time of year? I dug out a recipe last made last winter (or the winter before?). It's the best kind of pudding: a dense, tummy-filling cake layer, and a sticky, sweet sauce, like liquid marmalade. This, too, is one of those magical ones where you carefully pour the bright orange liquid (a rich colour from the red oranges) over the top of the cake batter, and somehow, in the oven, while you're not looking, the world turns upside down and the cake has a shiny, crackly top and all the liquid is submerged beneath. How does that happen? Perhaps next time I shall pull up a stool and watch thru the oven door, just to see if I can catch this magic trick.
Orange and almond self-saucing pudding
Torn from Good Taste magazine July 2010. The most labour intensive part is juicing the oranges, so do this first. Otherwise, this is a quick melt-and-mix batter; once you have the bicep-aching juicing out of the way, the rest is pretty speedy. Pudding, here I come!
- Preheat oven to 180, grease a 1.5 litre baking dish.
- Zest the oranges first (it's easier to zest 'full' oranges): I zested two. Then juice - you need 1 1/2 cups of juice.
- Combine 1 cup SR flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup almond meal, and the zest.
- Melt 50 grams of butter then add to this 1/2 cup milk and 1 egg. Pour this into the dry ingredients and combine, then spoon this into your baking dish.
- Combine 1 scant tbspn cornflour with 1/2 cup sugar, then sprinkle this over the pudding. It looks like an awful lot of white stuff, but soldier on bravely.
- Now, put the OJ in a small saucepan and bring just to the boil; whip off the heat then ladle it over the back of a spoon and over the pudding (the old 'back of the spoon' trick 'softens' the pour of the juice onto the batter, so you don't get big dings in your batter).
- Put in oven and bake 45-50 minutes or until you see the cake top emerge and a skewer (only inserted halfway) comes out clean.