Seville oranges have appeared in the greengrocers along Gloucester Road. There is something about the appearance of beautiful burnished Sevilles in the grey of winter that hints of warmth and sunnier days ahead.
I leave the Marmalade making to Clare but I always try to cook with Sevilles during their fleeting appearance. One my favourite uses is in an orange and almond cake. Many cookery writers and chefs have versions of this from Claudia Roden to Rose Prince and Nigella, but we use this recipe from Diana Henry. I usually use a dessert orange for this but a Seville orange gives a more tart, deep marmalade flavour. Although we don't usually cook with nuts in our school workshops, this is a simple cake to make with children at home (as long as an adult supervises the boiling and blending of the orange). It's also a great cake for those on a gluten-free diet as you can easily substitute the plain flour for gluten-free flour.
INGREDIENTS: 1 orange, 3 eggs, 250g caster sugar, 55g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 200g ground almonds, icing sugar for dusting
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line with baking parchment.
2. Place the orange in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer for an hour before draining. Place the orange on a chopping board, cut in half and carefully remove the pips. Place the orange in a food processor (or use a hand blender) and blend until it is a smooth paste.
3. Beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale and creamy. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, almonds and the orange puree. Spoon into the cake tin and bake for about an hour until the cake looks golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn out the cake on to a rack to cool.
4. When the cake is cool, sift icing sugar over the top of the cake. Delicious by itself or served with greek yoghurt.