Friday 2 September 2011

Winter Citrus

This year I've really discovered what it means to be eating seasonally. And not surprisingly, it's a little frustrating. At this time of year the winter fruits and vegetables are past their prime, you're sick of eating root vegetables, and the spring greens haven't arrived yet. I can't wait for summer!

Citrus are still good this late in winter, and the home grown stuff is everywhere. Last weekend I saw a family with a lemonade stall out the front of their house, selling fresh home made lemonade to people walking home from the beach. I have oranges, lemons and grapefruit in my fruit bowl, so this week is all about cooking with citrus!

Grapefruit and Poppyseed Cake

My first attempt was some grapefruit and poppy seed muffins. I was making up the recipe as I went, and skimped a bit on the sugar. The result was light and fluffy, but absolutely tasteless, muffins. Oops! Back to a recipe that works (adapted from this one by Joy The Baker). I made two mini-cakes with this mixture. By using the whole fruit, including the pith, you get a very intense flavour, just don't skimp on the sugar!

½ grapefruit + 2 tbsp water
3 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
100ml macadamia oil
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cups plain flour
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2½ tsp baking powder

Cook the grapefruit and water in a covered microwave-safe dish for 5 minutes on HIGH. Allow to cool. Remove the stem and any seeds and blend the grapefruit and cooking liquid until it is a smooth purèe.
In a large bowl beat eggs and gradually add sugar until light and foamy. Keep beating and add oil and vanilla in a thin stream. Add grapefruit puree and mix well. Finally, fold in the flour, baking powder and poppy seeds.

Bake in a greased tin for approx 50 minutes at 170℃, or until a skewer comes out clean. This method works well for other citrus too - try it with oranges, lemons or tangelos (you need about ½ cup of pulp).

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