Angela Day. Fruit. 110716.
Picture: Chris Collingridge
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Angela Day. Fruit. 110716. Picture: Chris Collingridge 525
Angela Day. Fruit. 110716.
Picture: Chris Collingridge
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Angela Day. Fruit. 110716. Picture: Chris Collingridge 517
Angela Day. Fruit. 110716.
Picture: Chris Collingridge
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Angela Day. Fruit. 110716. Picture: Chris Collingridge 533

One of the few good things about winter is the abundance of citrus fruit – all those bright oranges and naartjies that taste just as they should when in season.

I love the sight of those huge pomelos piled high at my greengrocer and always have a container of segments in my fridge to snack on.

Grapefruit no longer needs to be served with a sprinkling of sugar on them as they are sweet enough just as they are.

Remember, if you want to add a citrus flavour to your cooking and baking, be sure to add the finely grated rind of the fruit, because that’s where all the flavour is.

This said, remember that when grating the rind, make sure not to grate the fruit right down to the white pith, because this will add bitterness to your dish.

CITRUS COCONUT CAKE

180g butter, softened

250ml castor sugar

5ml vanilla extract

6 eggs

375ml flour

10ml baking powder

100g desiccated coconut

grated rind of an orange, lime and lemon

TOPPING

2 oranges

2 lemons

2 small ruby grapefruits

625ml water

625ml granulated sugar

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the creamed mixture.

Mix in the coconut. Add the grated rind and mix to combine.

Spoon the mixture into a square 20cm cake tin which has been lined and greased.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

TOPPING: Cut the fruit into 3mm-thick slices.

Combine the water and sugar in a large shallow frying pan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Add slices of fruit in a single layer and simmer gently until the rind of the fruit is translucent and soft. This will take about 10 minutes.

Remove the fruit and place on a wire rack. You will have to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your frying pan.

Once all the slices are cooked, retain the remaining syrup to pour over the cake.

If the syrup has thickened, add a little boiling water to thin it down to a medium syrup.

Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven and pierce all over with a skewer.

Pour over the remaining hot syrup from cooking the sliced fruit.

Allow to cool completely before removing the cake from the tin.

Arrange the cooked citrus slices on top of the cake.

...

FOUR-FRUIT MARMALADE

Makes 4 x 250ml

1 orange

1 lemon

1 grapefruit

1 naartjie

500ml water for every 250ml pulp

250ml sugar for every 250ml pulp

Wash fruit well. Roughly cut into pieces, removing the pips.

Place the fruit into a food processor and process well until finely chopped.

Measure pulp into a large saucepan. Add 500ml water for every 250ml pulp.

Bring to boil and cook for five minutes.

Stir in the sugar.

Allow to boil rapidly for 30 to 40 minutes or until setting point is reached.

Pour into sterilised bottles and seal them while still hot.

...

CITRUS BASIL SHORTBREAD

Makes 30-40

125ml castor sugar

grated rind of 1 lime

grated rind of 1 lemon

200g butter

45ml finely chopped basil leaves

375ml flour

160ml cornflour

extra castor sugar for sprinkling

Put the castor sugar in a bowl.

Add the grated lime and lemon rind and work it into the sugar well.

Set aside to infuse for about an hour.

Cream the butter until softened.

Add the infused castor sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Mix in the basil leaves.

Sift the flour and cornflour, then add to the creamed mixture and mix until the dough comes together.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thickness. Cut out with a cookie cutter.

Place on a greased baking tray and bake at 160°C for 15-20 minutes or until pale golden in colour.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with extra castor sugar.

...

CITRUS MARINATED CHICKEN THIGHS

Serves 4-6

1 bunch of spring onions, finely sliced

½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

2cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1 chilli, deseeded and chopped

10ml grated lime zest

10ml grated orange zest

60ml fresh lime juice

60ml fresh orange juice

60ml soy sauce

10ml sesame oil

15ml honey

1kg chicken thighs, about 8-12

Combine all the ingredients, except the chicken, in a food processor and blend until a coarse purée forms.

Place the chicken thighs in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour over the marinade.

Seal the bag and turn to coat the chicken.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cover a baking tray with tinfoil.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the prepared tray.

Roast the chicken for 40-50 minutes, occasionally basting with the marinade, until cooked through.