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Our seasonal recipes have returned, and just in time for the return of Seville oranges into the farm shop! The obvious thing for these bitter oranges is to make marmalade, but I stumbled across this recipe on the Waitrose website and thought it’d pair perfectly with our Peterley honey, made from bee hives on our own farm.
For the Syrup:
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. Put the butter, sugar and orange zest into a bowl and, using electric beaters, beat until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined, then gradually stir in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, yogurt, oil and orange juice until fully incorporated.
2. Transfer the mixture to the lined tin and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes-1 hour 15 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover with foil after 40 minutes if browning too quickly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, for the syrup, use a zester to pare thin strips of zest from the oranges. (Alternatively, pare the zest with a peeler and slice it into thin strips.) Juice the oranges and put the juice in a pan with the zest, sugar, honey and star anise. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until reduced, thick and syrupy.
4. Using a skewer, poke holes all over the cake while still in the tin. Remove the star anise and pour most of the syrup over the cake, reserving the zest and about 1 tbsp syrup. Set aside to cool completely. Transfer to a serving plate, pour over the remaining syrup and arrange the zest on top. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche.