When Jeanette Winterson claimed that oranges were not the only fruit, my guess is she has never spent a winter on Corfu. Oranges are everywhere, every road you drive down, every piece of land you look across, oranges, oranges, oranges! It is said we have over 3 million olive trees here on Corfu, I’d love to know how many citrus trees we have, it must be a close run thing.
The first winter that I was living in a house that had orange trees in the garden I was delighted. What better than freshly squeezed juice every morning I exclaimed joyfully to the kids. By week three we were all bright orange, apparently, you can have too much of a good thing, let alone the side effects of too much vitamin C, (google it), that made me wish we lived in a house with more than one bathroom and had slightly fewer trees.
So I began the search for things to do with oranges, marmalade sprang to mind, I don’t know why as I can’t stand the stuff. Undeterred I found a recipe and made pots and pots of it, which then sat festering in my kitchen cupboards until I moved house. Needless to say, I found all sorts of bizarre uses for the fruit but I have to say, the only one that stuck with me is the following recipe for an orange cake, which my kids still ask me for and indeed I made just yesterday.
It is a foolproof, delicious and moist, (or should I say juicy?), way to use up 3 oranges, 6 if you fancy filling your freezer, but don’t just take my word for it, give it a whirl.
210g Caster Sugar
4 tbsp buttermilk (I just use regular)
250g Self Raising Flour
50ml Olive Oil
- Heat the oven to 180c/Gas 4/350F – Grease a loaf tin
- Grate the zest from 2 of the oranges and then juice all 3.
- Process the sugar and zest until finely combined.
- Combine the milk and the juice in a mixing bowl.
- Mix in the sugar/zest and add eggs one by one.
- Now stir in the olive oil.
- Finally, sieve in flour and mix until combined.
Then all you need to do is pour it into the prepared tin and bake for around 50 minutes and voilà, you have a perfect and rather scrummy orange cake….or two.
All I have to do now is find many similar uses for the lemons dripping off the three trees I have in my current garden, lemon curd anyone?