Growing up in Southern California where citrus flourishes, the sight of groves full of fruit-laden orange trees evokes winter. My dad used to deliver boxes of clementines from one of the local orchards to all of his clients as a holiday thank you. Now I live in Brittany, where I’m happy we have four tangible seasons, unlike Southern California with its Mediterranean climate, but where, sadly, citrus refuses to grow. Instead of picking it fresh from my parent’s trees, I have to settle for buying it from the supermarket, imported from Spain or Morocco. But, hey, life is full of trade offs. The butter here makes up for it.
Since the citrus is cheap here at the moment, I’ve been buying it by the bushel and we can’t eat it quickly enough. So, of course, I turn to baking. I think some Sticky Orange Buns are in the offing too…
from The Great British Bake Off Everyday
Loaf tin, greased and lined with parchment paper to cover the base and two short sides
Measuring cup or scale
2 medium eggs
125 ml (1/2 cup) mild, fruity, extra-virgin olive oil (it doesn’t need to be expensive!)
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
175 ml (3/4 cup) reduced or full-fat milk
200 g (7/8 cup) caster sugar
200 g (1 3/4 cup) white spelt flour (I didn’t have any handy so I subbed for regular white flour, but the spelt is supposed to give a slight nutty taste)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
good pinch of salt
1 tablespoon marmalade (I didn’t have marmalade, so I made an orange glaze by heating the juice of 1 orange with 50 grams of sugar over medium heat for 1 minute)
Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the oil, orange zest and milk, whisking until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the sugar. Sift in the flour, baking soda and powder and salt. Mix well to make a smooth and runny batter.
Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin, spreading evenly. Bake in the oven for 55-60 minutes, until risen and golden brown and a tester stuck in the center comes out clean.
Set the tin on a wire rack to cool, immediately brushing it with the marmalade or the glaze. Run a knife around the edges of the tin to loosen the cake from the sides. Leave it to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days.