Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, with 64 per cent of the recommended daily intake in a 100g serving.
They are part of the Rutaceae citrus family and are thought to have originated in southern China or north-eastern India. They have been cultivated in and around China for several thousand years. Like most citrus plants, they require significant amounts of sunshine and water to produce fruit and are sensitive to frost. In Australia, the Riverland is one the main production areas for oranges.
A number of different orange varieties are grown in South Australia, with Navel oranges the most common. Available during the winter months, Navel oranges have rich orange-coloured skin that is easy to peel, and sweet and juicy seedless flesh; Valencia oranges are available during the summer months.
Seville oranges and blood oranges are also grown in South Australia. Blood oranges have a unique darker-coloured skin and flesh because they carry pigments that exist in red and purple fruit and vegetables; cold conditions are needed to bring out the deep colourings. Seville oranges originate from the southern Spanish province of Seville and their tart flavour makes them ideal for marmalade.
When selecting oranges, look for firm fruit that feel heavy and have a fine-textured skin. Avoid oranges that are bruised, wrinkled or discoloured as this indicates that the fruit is old or has been stored incorrectly. Citrus fruit peel may vary in thickness and is dependent on the weather conditions during the growing season.
As well as being eaten fresh, oranges make a delicious ingredient for marinades, winter salads, stews and desserts or as an accompaniment to roast meats and vegetable dishes. Add orange pieces and a crushed stem of rosemary to the inside of a chicken before roasting, or thinly slice the fruit and toss through lush bitter greens for fresh and lively winter salad.
At the Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market, which is open on Sundays from 9am to 1pm, Fat Goose Fruits sells certified organic Riverland oranges, The Food Forest has organic Seville oranges, DJ Garden Fresh Citrus has Naval oranges, and the Kondoprias and B + A Andonopoulos stalls also have oranges. The market is on Leader Street at Wayville.
Fat Goose Fruits, Kondoprias and B + A Andonopoulos are also at Willunga Farmers’ Market, which is open on Saturdays from 8am to 12.30pm. DJ Garden Fresh Citrus attends the Gawler Farmers’ Market from 8am to noon on Saturdays at the Gawler Visitor Information Centre, 2 Lyndoch Road, Gawler.
Lyndall Vandenberg, the marketing and communications coordinator for the Willunga Farmers’ Market, has shared her recipe for a pudding made with three types of citrus fruit.
“There are many, many recipes and techniques for this beautifully simple pudding and most keen cooks will have an old recipe in their repertoire as I do,” says Vandenberg.
“The magic lies within the golden sponge topping which hides a creamy citrus sauce.
“Citrus is at its peak now, and with many different varieties being abundant, try a few combinations of sweet and tart fruit such as Seville orange, Navel orange and lemon, or lemon, lime and blood orange.”
Citrus Trio Pudding
1 medium lemon, juice and zest
1 Seville orange, juice and zest
1 Navel orange, juice and zest
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
4 tbsp self-raising flour
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced). Choose a one-litre oven-proof bowl and a deep baking tray large enough that the bowl can sit in it.
In a large bowl, cream butter with the sugar with an electric beater, then add the egg yolks. Add the flour and milk alternately to make a smooth batter then blend in the juice and zest. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until firm then fold gently into batter.
Butter the oven-proof bowl then pour in the batter. Stand this in the baking tray and pour hot water into the tray so it comes one-third up the sides. Bake for 1 hour until top is golden and bounces back when lightly touched. The top half should look like a sponge and the bottom syrupy.
Serve warm with cream or vanilla ice cream.
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