Alastair’s caramelised oranges with toasted almonds

Alastair’s caramelised oranges with toasted almonds

By
From
Real Food by Mike
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

When we were living in London, every Sunday we were invited to lunch by my father-in-law, Alastair. It was often the highlight of my week, especially when we had small kids, as Alastair is a phenomenal cook. It was such a pleasure to be the one reading the Sunday papers instead of standing over the stove. This recipe of his was and always will be a favourite – simple but just divine. It works well with both blood oranges and regular oranges (I like Seville). For the nuts I like toasted almonds, but you can use pistachio nuts or activated walnuts.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
40g activated almonds
4 oranges, peeled and sliced
230g caster sugar
crème fraîche or plain yoghurt, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put the nuts on a baking tray and roast them in the oven for 5 minutes until they are light golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. Top and tail the oranges. Sit them on a work surface and, using a sharp paring knife, peel them lengthways down the fruit, so the knife removes the skin and pith of the orange. Slice the oranges into approximately 1 cm thick rounds – not too thin or they will break. While you are slicing, be certain to reserve the juice that falls from the oranges, as you will use that in the caramel.
  3. Put 2 tablespoons of water and the sugar in a large, heavy-based pan over high heat. Cook to caramelise the sugar, swirling the pan occasionally, but not stirring (as this will make the mixture crystallise).
  4. Continue swirling the pan until the sugar starts to become crimson – the centre of your swirling vortex will be a deep caramel and the edges will be lighter. Make sure to pull the pan off the stove just before the caramel is about to burn. Add 2 tablespoons of the juice from the oranges and swirl the pan until the caramel absorbs the juice and stops the cooking. Allow the caramel to cool to a thick syrup. If it starts to firm up, add a little more juice. It needs to be the consistency of molasses.
  5. Arrange the sliced oranges on a platter in a single layer. Spoon over the caramel syrup and scatter with the almonds. Serve in bowls with crème fraîche or yoghurt.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Oranges are a well-known source of immune-boosting vitamin C, as well as fibre and pectin. Pectin is a soluble fibre that can help lower cholesterol and slow the rate of sugar absorption. Oranges contain vitamin A for vision, B for converting food into energy, and minerals such as potassium and calcium, which build and protect bones, help with muscle contraction and relaxation, blood clotting and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
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