In Season: February

It might still be freezing but the glimmer of Spring is on the horizon and we’re now in the few exciting weeks a year that the blood orange makes an appearance. We love to include it in cocktails, cures and sweet treats - see below for our gluten-free polenta cake recipe.


SO, WHAT'S IN SEASON?

 

VEGETABLES

Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, salsify, shallots, swede, truffles (black), turnips

FRUIT

Blood oranges, clementines, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pineapple, pomegranate, rhubarb

MEAT

Guinea fowl, hare, partridge, turkey, venison

FISH

Clams, cockles, dab, dover sole, gurnard, haddock, halibut, hake, langoustine, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, red mullet, scallops (queen), sea bream, skate, turbot, winkles


 
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Cardamom and blood orange polenta cake

 


MAKES 1 CAKE | SERVES 10

SYRUP AND BLOOD ORANGE

  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 140g light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 5 cardamom pods

CAKE BATTER

  • 200g unsalted butter

  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 100g coarse polenta
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp baking powder

 

  1. Grease a 23cm round tin (we like to use a square one too) then line the bottom and sides with baking paper.

  2. Melt 45g butter in a saucepan, then add the sugar, lemon juice and cardamom. Stir until the sugar melts then pour the syrup into the bottom of the prepared tin.

  3. Grate the zest from orange and reserve, then 'top and tail' the oranges, this makes it easier to remove the rind and pith, with a sharp knife. Slice the prepared oranges into thin 'wheels' and tightly arrange on top of the syrup in your tin, this may take some jigsaw skills!

  4. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and light, then beat in the eggs one at a time, and add in the vanilla extract.

  5. In a second bowl combine the ground almonds, polenta, orange zest, orange blossom water and baking powder. Stir this into the cake mix.

  6. Pour the batter over the syrup and sliced oranges and bake for 40 -50 minutes at 180°C/160°C FAN/gas 2½, until the top is light brown and cake is starts to come away from the sides.

  7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the tin and carefully turn out onto a plate. Peeling back the greaseproof will reveal a pretty pattern of oranges on the top of your cake -  best served with a dollop of crème fraiche, and toasted pistachios.

Recipes, SeasonalEmma Plant