For the love of three oranges

winter fruit

Or to be more precise four oranges, a pomegranate and some cranberries.
At the beginning of December I begin to haunt the islands’ two supermarkets waiting for the arrival of pomegranates and fresh cranberries. These jewel like fruits are part of the essence of Christmas and, with spices, bring a touch of the exotic to winter food. The combination vibrant colours and tangy flavours can set a dish alight transforming the mundane into the stunning.

On winter mornings the breakfast crumble is still the favourite treat or when the days are really dreich (grey, dull and dismal) a comforting bowl of porridge or a dark warming bowl of dried fruit compote is sometimes preferred. After weeks of stormy weather it is now time for something special to lift the spirits and make the heart sing. A bowl of out-of-season imported strawberries and blueberries or a juicy mango? Definitely not, nor even firm favourites like pancakes and maple syrup, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, or even boiled eggs and soldiers. Perhaps a fruit salad – a bowl of winter sunshine, juicy, tangy, singing with vitamins and glowing with colour. It also needs warmth, so an infusion of aromatic spices and perhaps a dollop of thick creamy yoghurt to soothe. To be really special it needs a touch of indulgence, perhaps even a little naughtiness – almond cake soaked in a spicy fruit syrup. Cake for breakfast – why not? Naughty but very nice and redeemed by the vitamins!

So four oranges, a pomegranate and some cranberries were transformed with love into a winter fruit salad with spiced almond cake. You can find the recipe on the table in the croft kitchen.

9 thoughts on “For the love of three oranges

  1. So oranges really aren’t the only fruit…? Off to look at your winter fruit salad now, and must check your breakfast crumble again too. I am well into the habit of adding our own fruit to my breakfast now, but some variety wouldn’t come amiss

    • Thank you, it’s been a while since we traded quotations.
      Oranges are the top fruit at the moment – a new crumble variation is apples and oranges with cinnamon.

      • Can you remind me of your basic breakfast crumble mix please? I thought I had copied out but can’t find it. Thanks

        • You need 150g plain flour, 125g chilled, unsalted butter and 35g sugar for the basic mix. Rub the butter into the flour until you get a coarse breadcrumb mix (or whizz in the food processor, not too much you need a coarse mixture) and stir in the sugar. You can vary the amount and type of sugar to suit). You can mix in rolled oats, chopped nuts, muesli base (without the fruit) or seeds according to taste. The more you add the lighter and crunchier the topping. Spread over the fruit, if the fruit is very tart I add honey and have been known to reach for the spice jar too. You can use 100g flour and 50g ground almonds but this makes it more like a pudding, for breakfast I prefer a very oaty mix. Each one we make is different, there are no hard and fast rules, just keep it light and crunchy.

          • Thanks Christine – I have copied and pasted it straight away so don’t lose it this time, and I might even try it with muesli that still has its fruit 🙂

  2. Baking with Julia has the perfect pound cake recipe and toasted slices with fresh butter are perfect for breakfast too. Yummy indulgences of winter…Happy Christmas! Diane

    • Now toasted cake is a new idea, although I love toasted fruit bread (with lots of butter). Winter is great for really indulgent breakfasts, so treat yourself and your family to something very special to get the holiday off to a good start. Happy Christmas from the crofters

  3. Just clicked over to your recipe – the colours in your fruit salad are beautiful, perfect for starting the morning with a smile!… and the cake sounds pretty good too.

    • I think this is one of the best winter fruit salads I’ve ever made – the cake is just naughtiness!!

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