NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Crop Of The Month -

OR­ANGE AL­MOND TART is a de­li­cious treat for af­ter­noon tea or as a smart fi­nale to a rich din­ner. Serves 6

INGREDIENTS • 1½ sheets sweet short-crust pas­try • 100g but­ter, soft­ened • 100g caster sugar • 2 eggs, beaten, at room tem­per­a­ture • 10g flour • 100g ground al­monds • 1 ta­ble­spoon grated or­ange zest • 1 tea­spoon vanilla essence

METHOD Pre­heat the oven to 180ºc. Line a tart tin with 1 sheet of pas­try. Cover with bak­ing pa­per, add rice or beans, then blind bake un­til light golden brown – it takes about 20 min­utes. Re­move the beans/rice and pa­per, then re­turn to the oven for 5 more min­utes to crisp up the base. Beat but­ter and sugar to­gether un­til pale. Add beaten eggs and flour. Fold in al­monds, or­ange zest and vanilla essence. Pour mix­ture into the tart case to about 1cm from the top. Slice the ½ sheet of pas­try into 1cm strips and ar­range in a lat­tice on top. Bake un­til golden brown and set. Cool slightly be­fore serv­ing.

Or try OR­ANGE GRANITA WITH STAR ANISE. A granita can be a fat-free dessert or a palate cleanser be­tween cour­ses. It’s easy to make and can be adapted us­ing other fruit juices such as wa­ter­melon, ap­ple and berry. Serves 6.

INGREDIENTS • ½ cup sugar • ½ cup wa­ter • 2 star anise pods • 1½ cups freshly squeezed or­ange juice • Grand Marnier liqueur to serve (op­tional)

METHOD Heat sugar, wa­ter and star anise to­gether in a pot un­til just boil­ing. Re­move star anise, then add or­ange juice, pour­ing it through a strainer to re­move any pips and pulp. Trans­fer to a shal­low con­tainer and freeze, work­ing over with a fork ev­ery 20 min­utes un­til frozen to ob­tain the granita tex­ture. Spoon into glasses with a dash of Grand Marnier in the bot­tom, and gar­nish with a mint leaf.

OR­ANGES WITH BRANDY CARAMEL is quick and easy to make. Sweet and juicy navel or­anges are per­fect. Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS • 2 or­anges • 100g but­ter • 100g brown sugar • 50ml wa­ter • 3 ta­ble­spoons brandy

METHOD Peel or­anges, slice fruit width­ways and ar­range on a serv­ing plat­ter or in a bowl. To make the brandy caramel, melt but­ter and sugar to­gether in a pot over a low heat. Al­low the mix­ture to form a paste, then add wa­ter and brandy. Bring to the boil and sim­mer for 1 minute be­fore pour­ing over the or­anges. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

VARI­A­TIONS • Make a brandy but­ter­scotch sauce by swap­ping the wa­ter for 100ml cream. • If you like choco­late and or­ange flavours to­gether, scat­ter pieces of dark choco­late over the fruit, then pour the hot sauce on top. Or try serv­ing the or­anges and sauce on the side with choco­late brown­ies. • To make this dish child friendly, just leave the brandy out of sauce.

Fancy PARSNIP, OR­ANGE & AL­MOND MUFFINS? Us­ing veg­eta­bles in sweet dishes might seem strange. But once you’ve given it a go you’ll won­der why it’s taken you so long to dis­cover this whole new realm of culi­nary de­light. Makes 12 big muffins.

INGREDIENTS • 2 cups parsnip purée (see be­low) • 4 eggs • 1½ cups sugar • 1 cup veg­etable oil • zest 2 or­anges • 3½ cups flour • 1 tea­spoon bak­ing soda • 1 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der • 2 tea­spoons cin­na­mon • ½ cup al­mond flakes

METHOD Pre­heat the oven to 180ºc. Com­bine parsnip purée, eggs, sugar, oil and grated zest. In a sep­a­rate bowl sift to­gether flour, bak­ing soda, bak­ing pow­der and cin­na­mon. Fold the wet and dry ingredients to­gether gen­tly, tak­ing care not to over mix as this will re­sult in hard muffins. Pour bat­ter into muf­fin cups, sprin­kle over sliced al­monds, then bake for about 20 min­utes un­til golden brown. Re­move from the oven and trans­fer to a cool­ing rack.

PARSNIP PUREE Peel and chop 3 parsnips. Pre­heat the oven to 180ºc. Put the parsnips and ¼ cup wa­ter in an oven­proof dish with a lid and bake un­til soft. Drain and process or push through a sieve or mouli. The purée freezes well too. Makes about 2 cups.

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