In Good Season: Holidays Kick Off Citrus Season



Friends and family who live or spend the winter in Florida talk about “citrus.” For some reason it doesn’t seem necessary to specify oranges or grapefruit — and chances are, you’ll be on the receiving end of a large and heavy package of “citrus” just before the holidays.

I’ve always found it useful to read things that are printed on the backs of boxes, bottles, cans or jars and I’ve also read the fine print that comes with a crate of oranges. From this material I have learned that Navel Oranges will last until the end of January, but Temple Oranges and Honey Tangerines start up the first of February and are available for only 6 to 8 weeks. The Minneola Tangelo season is really short, only through the month of January, but the three major types of grapefruit (red, white and seedless) are available from November until the end of May. Juice oranges, fortunately, will be with us until the end of June.

This is a recipe that I found in a crate of oranges and is one that you might enjoy — a variation on cole slaw — something that would go very well with turkey or chicken, leftover or otherwise.

 

Orange Pecan Slaw

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 small head red or green cabbage, shredded (about 12 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 Florida oranges, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup bottled slaw dressing
  • 1Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, pecans and orange pieces.

In a small bowl or jar, combine the slaw dressing, lemon juice, honey and salt. Stir or shake to blend well. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss lightly, then cover and chill for one hour.

 

This very special cake came from a Pillsbury Bake-Off winner years ago, and should be used only if you have very fresh oranges.

Before starting, please read the directions carefully because it’s not the usual cake recipe. Having given you fair warning, I might also add that once you catch on to its quirky preparation, it’s quick and easy.

Orange Kiss-Me Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 fresh Orange
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 eggs

Topping

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • Orange slices to garnish

 

The prep work:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, but 325 degrees for a glass pan

Grease (not oil) a 13-by-9-inch pan, then flour it

Spoon the 2 cups of flour into a measuring cup; level off

Squeeze the orange, reserving 1/3 cup juice

Grind the orange peel and pulp, raisins and 1/3 cup walnuts together in a blender, grinder or food processor. Set aside.

In a large bowl, blend the flour, sugar, soda, salt, milk, shortening and eggs. Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Stir in the orange/raisin mixture, combine well, and pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees (or 325) for 35 to 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when the cake is done. Take the cake out of the oven and place it on a rack to cool.

(Since it will be sticky, you may want to serve the cake from the pan.)

 

For the topping:

Drizzle the reserved orange juice over the warm cake.

Combine the sugar, cinnamon and finely chopped walnuts in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the cake and garnish with orange slices. (Enjoy!)

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