Saturday, July 30, 2011

Citrus — Oranges

In the lower mountains we have lots of citrus, which have been or are being harvested. Elsewhere in Australia, there is a glut of oranges so you might get some cheap and use them straight away, store in a cool place or preserve them. Depending on the variety, one orange usually yield 1/4–1/3 cup of juice.

Here are some ideas:

# eat fresh or use fresh juice with other fruits as a salad or compote
# use on grated carrot or beetroot as a dressing
# use orange instead of lemon juice when making hommus or guacamole dips
# use up to a cup orange juice instead of the same quantity of water for every cup of rice you next steam up
# serve with fish (instead of, i.e. as you would for, lemon)
# grate fresh rind and freeze spoonfuls in small packets in your freezer
# pare the peel finely, dry well and grind or chop and use in baking, or as a base for liqueur*
# make orangeade or orange squash
# freeze the juice with a little sugar
# prepare clean segments and freeze in a light syrup or dry pack
# make an orange sauce, e.g. for pancakes
# make orange marmalade
# make orange souffle
# make an orange (instead of lemon) pudding
# make orange muffins, loaf or cake
# make orange ice/gelato

If you have your own tree, or can access orange flowers and leaves, you can use the 'neroli' oil for flavour and scent. Dried petals can be pounded with castor sugar (1:2) and stored for use in sponges and other baking.

Oranges go well with a range of spices (such as allspice, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, mace and nutmeg) and seasonings (such as chives, garlic, mustard, pepper, sage and tarragon).

* In their great book Fruit For the Home and Garden: A Comprehensive Guide to Cultivation and Culinary Use (1985, A&R: 186), Leslie Johns and Violet Stevenson recommend:
squeezing 6 oranges and paring and finely chopping their peel;
blending the juice with 2 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of coriander and adding the finely diced peel;
pouring the blended mixture into a jar and pouring 4 cups of brandy (or some other white spirit) over it;
covering and leaving for two months or so to infuse;
filtering the infused mixture and bottling it.

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We can harvest a wide range of fruits and nuts locally each season.

Local fruit and/or nut gardeners are invited to make additions or suggest modifications to the following work-in-progress compiled by Lizzie Connor.


Across the mountains: loquat, mulberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late spring) raspberry

Best in the lower mountains: avocado, jaboticaba, lemonade


Across the mountains: apricot, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, currant (red, black, white), gooseberry, kumquat, loganberry, loquat, mulberry,nectarine, peach, plum, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late summer) almond, apple, fig, hazelnut, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), pomegranate, youngberry

Best in lower mountains:lemon (Eureka), lemonade, lime, mandarin, orange, persimmon (non-astringent) and (in late summer) avocado, babaco, macadamia, rockmelon, wampee, watermelon

Best in upper mountains: jostaberry, lemon (Meyer), persimmon (astringent)


Across the mountains: almond, apple, chestnut, feijoa, fig, grape, hazel, kiwi fruit, kumquat, medlar, olive, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), plum, quince, raspberry (some), rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry guava, walnut

Best in lower mountains: avocado, babaco, cherimoya, grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), macademia, monstera deliciosa, orange, pine nut, pistachio, rockmelon, tamarillo, walnut, watermelon, white sapote

Best in upper mountains: lemon (Meyer), mandarin (Satsuma)


Across the mountains: apple, hazelnut, kiwi fruit, kumquat, pear (incl. nashi)

Best in lower mountains: grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), orange, tangelo

Best in upper mountains: avocado (Bacon), lemon (Meyer)