Have you noticed how well citrus grows in Samford? Right now, trees in backyards all around us are laden with lemons, oranges, limes, tangelos, grapefruit and mandarins. With National Tree Day just around the corner (31st July), why not plant a citrus fruit tree?
Okay, so while the timing might not be quite right just yet – the best time is Spring – you can purchase the plant and prepare the soil you’ll be planting into with compost and gypsum. Keep in mind citrus love sun, but dislike wind. If you plant them somewhere near the house, you’ll not only benefit from the lovely fragrant flowers, but also know when the fruit is ripe (hopefully before the birds notice!). Consider using a few different citrus varieties in a hedge – so the fruit can hide a bit in the greenery.
The saying goes that when you plant a fruit tree for yourself, you are also planting for the benefit of future generations. When it comes to citrus, you can plant a tree and they are so abundant that it will benefit your neighbours too!
If you are fortunate to have an abundance of delicious oranges right now, the following recipe comes highly recommended. It’s ideal for gluten-free/dairy-free friends, but can be modified for other different diets too and freezes quite well. The handiest thing though, is that you can cook, blitz and then freeze the oranges in cake-quantity portions for use throughout the year. Nice one!
ORANGE AND ALMOND CAKE
(Original recipe from www.sbs.com.au)
2 oranges, washed (not peeled)
250g caster sugar
250g almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
To serve (optional): whipped cream with ground cardamom, and a little icing sugar
Place oranges in a saucepan and cover well with water. Bring to the boil and boil for two hours. Add boiling water to the pot if/as needed, to keep the oranges covered during this time. The aim is to remove the tartness of the skin, as the whole orange is used. After two hours, drain the water off and set oranges aside to cool to room temperature, then puree them in a food processor (or hand mixer if you have a chopping blade)
Preheat oven to 160 deg C (150 deg C if fan-forced) then grease and line a 22cm round springform cake tin. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and caster sugar very well until creamy, then stir in the orange puree by hand, followed by the almond meal, which we’ve usually premixed with the baking powder.
Pour entire mix into the tin and cook for 1 – 1¼ hours, or until a skewer when inserted comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the tin, and dust with icing sugar just prior to serving. Whipped cream provides some balance to this lovely moist cake.
The Samford Edible Garden Trail open weekend is coming up soon – 6th and 7th August – and there are still a few tickets available. Find the link on our website (samfordediblegardentrail.com.au). Come along and be inspired by some amazing edible gardens in our area. You might just decide to start an orchard or a veggie patch of your own!