Because lately the colour orange has been getting a lot of bad rep… here is how we can remedy for it.
One thing that routinely happens every summer is my overexcitement at the abundance of inexpensive cherries. I am a huge sucker for this fruit, which growing up I regarded as a huge luxury since it was never abundant and my mother always bought us a bit just for us to taste them but we never afforded to luxuriate in Jam making activities when it came to cherries, that was reserved mostly for strawberries and delicious Maltese peaches which we turned into summer jams to use up throughout the winter months.
Paris is a different matter, cherries start off expensive but by the end of August the fruit vendors do not know what to do with the ripe crimson fruits. Having one of the most generous fruit vendors in the city this year, I not only got my cherries for the cheap but was given around fifteen kilos of cherries that remained unsold before they had to close for their yearly summer holidays. They were seriously ripe and the only way to preserve them was to turn them into jam.
We are now bang on in the middle of an extremely cold winter its January and January has always meant the arrival of the much awaited Blood Orange. Their season is extremely short making their appearance a precious date in our calendar. Blood oranges are best prepared for dishes to be eaten there and then, they do not preserve well for long stretches of time, due to their high level of iron then tends to oxidise over time giving the food a metallic taste. The best things one can do with a blood orange are;
- Eat it fresh as it comes
- Make upside down cakes, a polenta cake base works surprisingly well for this
- Use them in salads, they go particularly well with thyme and beetroot
- Roast them alongside lamb.
Or as I am choosing to do today, cook thin slices of them in sugar and water and bake a galette, made with buttery dough, plenty of last summer’s cherry jam (you can definitely use store bought jam for this one) and lashings of crystallised thyme on top.
It’s a perfect dessert to celebrate the fruits of summer and winter coming together through sweet pastry blessings. It’s the kind of marriage that will never end in divorce, as the sweet magenta coloured jam thickens up to envelope the tart bloody oranges.
And here is the recipe for it.
For the pastry.
250g unsalted butter
125g castor sugar
125g rice flour
250g plain flour.
- Cream butter and sugar, then add the flours and knead until you obtain a soft pliable dough. Easy.
For the Jam.
1 kg of fruit (assuming you are not a deranged jam making fanatic)
1 kg of jam sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon.
- Pit all the cherries, wear gloves for this.
- Boil fruit together with sugar and lemon until you have a jam of a consistency you like.
- Blitz up with a hand blender
- Cook over low heat for a couple more minutes to consolidate the setting.
Preparing the oranges
Wash the oranges, and slice into thin rounds, cook in a 1:1 solution of water is to sugar until the pith becomes transparent meaning that is now sweet instead of bitter rubber.
Assembly of the Gallette.
- On a piece of large baking paper open the dough into a large 30cm diameter circle
- Line the tin with the pastry set on top of the paper
- Spread a generous helping of jam
- Place the orange circles on top of the jam
- Crumple the edges to form a rustic galette
- Using the crimson syrup obtained after boiling the oranges, brush the extremities of the pastry and sprinkle a good helping of sugar on top.
- Bake in a hot oven approximately 200 degrees Celsius for around 1 hour
Do not be tempted to remove out of the oven quickly, let it brown well on top, so as to be sure that the bottom is crisp.