How much do you appreciate the humble orange?
There’s probably some in your fridge or on your counter right now. Despite having a definite season, we have access to them all year round, and at this time of year, they’re at their best, with the most varieties available. But do you do much with them beyond eating them out of hand or juicing the things?
Jamie Schler now lives in France, but she grew up in Florida and has an appreciation of the orange that most of us might not, especially when it comes to how useful oranges are in cooking and baking. Sure, there’s marmalade (which, surprisingly does not show up as a stand-alone recipe in this book at all), but oranges go great with different kinds of meat, especially fish; are a great flavour enhancer for many types of vegetables; and there are so many cakes and pastries that get better with a bit (or a lot) or orange flavouring that it’s a bit mind-boggling.
Schler sources recipes from all over and pairs orange with some of its good pals such as cardamom in a recipe for flaky scones, onions and olives atop a focaccia, or with brown sugar to bring out the best in sweet potatoes. And of course, orange’s best friend chocolate shows up in recipes for a cake, a marble loaf and brownies.
There’s a guide to common orange varieties, descriptions of the various parts of an orange and how to work with them (pith versus zest, for instance), and instructions on how to make some of the orange-flavoured ingredients (such as orange sugar and orange salt) that Schler uses in a few recipes.
I’d like a slightly larger and/or darker font for the instructions, but the directions are clear and easy to follow. Metric measurements are included.
Oranges are currently at their best, so now is totally the time to grab this book and make the most of the many varieties of oranges available in produce sections and greengrocers for a bright hit of cheer, sweetness and flavour.