Tag Archives: homemade

The Blood Orange- a fruit of great beauty

It’s orange time of year.  Just when the body is at it’s lowest, mother nature responds with the season of vitamin C rich fruit.  Granted they are not native to our shores, but at least the majority we import are European.  The Seville oranges make such beautiful marmalade, but the blood oranges make beautiful ANYTHING.

blood orange

Blood Orange Beauty


The distinctive red flesh colour is due to the presence of anthocyanins (a family of antioxidant pigments not normally associated with citrus fruits.  The flesh develops its characteristic maroon colour when the fruit develops with low temperatures during the night.

You can use them simply as a snack, or add the juice to a fancy cocktail.  They are really good as an ice cream or sorbet ingredient too.  And can be used where an orange is called for in any baking or cooking.  But I feel unless you can show off their beautiful colour, just use ordinary oranges and save the blood oranges for the extraordinary occasion.

I’ve made a couple of things to showcase the most fabulous of citrus fruits. I feel slightly bad as I regularly turn to the humble lemon for a last minute dinner or dessert.  But there’s no denying it, the blood orange has a certain je ne sais quoi.

First I made Richard Bertinet’s Blood Orange Tart from his deliciousy lickable book “Patisserie Maison“. I wasn’t entirely happy with the colour.  But the flavour of the curd was like velvet.  A real treat worthy of the effort involved with any tart.

Blood Orange Tart

And as I had leftover oranges (*smiles*) I decided to be even more adventurous and try some macaron. I filled them with both raspberry curd and blood orange buttercream.

Blood Orange

Blood Orange Buttercream and Raspberry Curd

And they were DIVINE- and that’s saying something as I’m not the biggest fan.

Blood Orange Macaron


Roast Chicken with Celeriac Chips

I’m a big fan of jointing my own chicken and putting all the pieces in separate bags in the freezer for using at various stages.  It’s a bit of a job to do it initially (I try do three of four together- makes the mess worthwhile).  Also it gives me an excuse to get some crispy chicken skin on the go.  Mmmm.  This recipe uses legs, but could work just aswell with thighs, but I might allow two thighs per person.  You need to serve it with the salad as the dressing balances the intense sweetness of the honey glazed celeriac.

Roast Chicken with Celeriac Chips

1 large celeriac
2 tablespoons of honey
5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoon of semolina
2 free-range chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
A small bunch of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon of cider vinegar
1 lemon, half zested and juiced
A pinch of caster sugar
Green salad, to serve

Roast Chicken with Celeriac Chips

Heat the oven to 180°C. Peel and slice the celeriac into 3cm x 7cm chips, or just chunky chip size. Toss in a bowl with the semolina then the honey and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season well.
Roast Chicken with Celeriac Chips
Heat a frying pan to high, preferably one that you can use in the oven too.  In other words- no plastic handle. Rub the chicken legs with olive oil, season, then fry skin-side down for 3 minutes or until golden.

Add the celeriac chips under the skin side up chicken, then roast in the oven for 40 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through and the chips are golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, finely chop the thyme, then shake in a lidded jar with the cider vinegar, the lemon zest and juice, caster sugar and remaining olive oil. Drizzle the dressing over the green salad being served with the chicken and chips.
Roast Chicken with Celeriac Chips


Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding

I just love bread and butter pudding. And we have some gorgeous panettone bread left over to use in the best way possible- this recipe is as good with brioche as with panettone.  And really if push comes to shove, it’s good with any old white batch loaf type- just remove the crusts. Sure you can’t make it ALL into breadcrumbs…. and using up leftovers is COOL these days.

Bread and Butter Pudding


Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding

8 thick slices panettone crusts, cut into 2.5cm cubes
50g butter, melted
300ml cream
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons dark rum (if desired)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
75g chocolate chips
2 tablespoons caster sugar
20g Icing Sugar

Bread and Butter Pudding

Beautifully light panettone bread

Preheat oven to 180oC. Place bread in large bowl. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons melted butter and toss. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bread begins to colour, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Cool. Brush your baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Bread and Butter Pudding

Broken pieces of panettone tossed in melted butter

Heat the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbling. Remove from heat. Whisk eggs and yolks in large bowl. Add rum, vanilla, and salt; gradually whisk in warm cream. Stir in bread cubes. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Bread and Butter Pudding

Soaking in the egg custard

Mix chocolate chips into custard mixture. Pour into prepared dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and set in centre, about 35 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm, with some freshly whipped cream. Divine.

Bread and Butter Pudding

Best to get the photo before it disappears!