Winter is the season when most citrus are in full fruit commencing with limes, followed by mandarins and then the oranges, grapefruit and kumquats. Of course lemons are also at their prime but they tend to fruit multiple times throughout the year.
I love the arrival of citrus fruits during the cold winter days and nights as they bring a special zing to life and food.
Here is a simply recipe for a French upside-down orange cake. Although I make it in a pan (as one would make a French tartin), you can also make it in a spring-loaded cake tin, if you prefer.
It is wonderful for morning or afternoon tea or better still as the finishing touch to an evening meal.
Make 8 serves
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup almond meal
150g butter (melted)
1 cup caster sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange brandy/liqueur
2 oranges (cut thinly)
generous knob butter
1. Commence by preparing the topping. Place sugar, water, vanilla and brandy into a pot and heat until sugar dissolves.
2. Add orange slices and cook for approximately 10 minutes until fruit softens and begins to caramelise. Once caramelised remove from heat and add knob of butter and allow to cool.
The butter will give the cake a very glossy finish.
3. For the cake, place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whisk until pale and fluffy (approximately 15 minutes). You want the mixture to double or triple in volume.
4. Gently add the sifted flour and almond meal and fold through before adding the melted butter.
5. Line the base of the pan or cake tin with baking paper and place the topping onto its surface. Then pour the cake batter over the topping and smooth the surface if needed.
6. Place into a pre-heated oven at 160° C and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven, allow to cool and then turn out onto a serving plate. Remove the baking paper and cut into slices for serving.