By Wendy Williams
IT has been a bumper year for oranges and lemons around southern Spain.
Thanks to the heavy rainfall of last winter the quality of citrus fruit from this years harvest is expected to be ‘stupendous’, according to growers association Asaja Malaga.
The group insists that the heavy rains have helped rejeuvenate the drought-stricken orchards, in particular around the Guadalhorce valley.
It is expecting 187,000 tons of citrus fruit to be harvested in Malaga province alone, some 15 per cent more than last year.
Asaja spokesman Benjamin Fauli said: “The rain allowed the trees to recuperate their physical state which has been reflected with an increase in production.”
This year the area is set to produce up to 200,000 tons of all types of fruit when the harvest begins next month.
Around 80 per cent of Malaga’s lemons and 65 per cent of its oranges are exported.
And depending on how the prices hold up, this could bring returns of around 50 million euros to the area’s growers.
To celebrate the good news, here is a citrus inspired recipe to try your hand at…
Orange and Almond Cake
Ingredients for the cake:
6 eggs, separated
240g caster sugar
230g almonds, almost finely ground
2 1/2 oranges, finely grated zest
For the syrup:
8 oranges, juiced
1 1/2 lemons, juiced
1 whole cinnamon stick
Caster sugar, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Line a 23cm spring-form tin on the bottom and sides with greaseproof paper.
Keeping 1 tbsp of caster sugar aside for later, mix the egg yolks and sugar together until pale. Then add the almonds and zest.
Beat the egg whites and remaining tablespoon of sugar until stiff. Carefully fold into the sugar-egg mixture.
Then gently ease the batter into the lined tin.
Place on the middle shelf of your oven and bake for 60-70 minutes until it is golden on top and firm to touch.
While the cake is in the oven, make the syrup by placing the orange juice, lemon juice and cinnamon in a saucepan with a handful of sugar.
Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about five minutes. Taste – the syrup should be quite tart. Cool and place in the fridge.
When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack before opening the tin. Transfer to a plate and pierce four small holes in the top of the cake.
Pour half the syrup over the top and serve with the rest of the syrup on the side.