Our weekly email news letter. Sign up here to get them delivered straight to your email in box. See below for previous issues...
Please note that product availability and prices may have changed from when this newsletter was sent. Please check this site or phone us for current availability and pricing.
Friday 20th September, 2019
Egyptian Orange and Almond cake... sooo easy!
It's not often that I have the urge to bake a cake but one night while scrolling around on google I spotted a recipe for an orange cake that looked pretty easy.. and I'm definitely one for easy.
It's Annabel Langbein Egyptian Orange and Almond cake inspired by a classic Claudia Roden recipe using a couple of fresh delicious oranges from your own tree....
The ingredient list is pretty simple
seeds from 8 Cardamon pods, finely chopped
3 cups ground almonds or almond meal
1/ 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Put the oranges whole and unpeeled in a pot and cover with water and bring to the boil. reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for approx 1 1/2 hours... I did simmer these with a lid on but with a space so that the steam could escape and found that the liquid reduced by approx half.
Set aside and cool, then break the oranges open and remove and seeds and or any hard pithy bits. I grabbed the whizz stick and then pureed the soft oranges in the remaining water and ended up with this semi thick puree.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line and grease a cake tin with baking paper. I used a 22 cm tin but could have chosen a deeper one than I had, or slightly larger, as I had more batter than the tin could handle and ended up making one thin cake as well... I will know for next time.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the orange puree and all other ingredients and mix thoroughly. The mixture will be very wet.
Pour into cake tin and bake in the oven until set and a skewer inserted into the middle come out clean, which will be approx 1 hour. If the cake is still wet then cook a little longer. Allow to cool in tin before turning out.
My cake tin cant have been deep enough as my effort cooked in approx three quarters of an hour. I think that it makes for a fab dessert cake which I served with Greek yoghurt and what we didn't eat on the night kept in the fridge in an airtight container really well.
Pepinos are possibly not so widely known here but are a really cool plant to add to your vege or flower garden. Give them a bit of room as they will make a bush of around one metre and become weighted down with their delicious egg shaped fruit that are yellowish with purple stripes or marks. Note here, you may need to be prepared to stake the plant as the weight of the fruit can be quite heavy.
It's a good time to plant these, as we head into the warmer months of the year, as they are a bit frost tender but this is not so surprising as these melon like fruits belong to the Solanum family as do many of our other favourite spring summer plantings like tomatoes, egg plants and potatoes. Speaking of which, have your got your spuds in yet ??? Rocket and Swift are the quickest, the last delivery of potatoes has arrived and will be received in shortly so hopefully by the time you get this they should all be available for purchasing online.
I have, in the past, grown Pepinos, they are pretty easy and the fruit is well worth eating with its honey dew melon come cucumber like flavour that you would use anywhere you would melons.
I did a quick google and found that there were recipes on the net for these exotic fruits and I feel sure that had I asked Cecilia yesterday about Pepinos that she would tell me more about these delicious fruits.
We have 3 different cultivars available and if you click the links below the picture you can go straight to the website to buy them at our online store.
Pepino El Camino The medium to large egg-shape fruit turns yellow with purple stripes when ripe. The pepino has a taste that is similar to a cucumber, cantaloupe, and a honeydew melon. A small vigorous bush, resembles a tomato vine.
Pepino Incredible Blush
Incredible Blush has elongated fruit that can reach up to 10cm in length, with an average weight of around 300g. As the cream fruit develops the purple strips darken and when mature there is a rosy blush.
Pepino Ruby has purple elongated fruit, slightly longer than Incredible Blush, at around 12cm long when mature. The fruit is juicy with a mild flavour and crisp texture.
These Pepino are all self fertile and being small vigorous plants they are deal for container growing. Most flower during spring and summer and fruit heavily from December until the first frost.
The last two days are been really warm and sunny..and its been amazing working outside in the nursery, the roses are starting to throw out the odd flower but I think that on the whole they are still a couple of weeks away yet... Its just going to be a blaze of colour when they do.
This warm seasonal weather has inspired me to get my eating garden in and up to scratch and so I have pulled out all the old brassica crops and dug in some compost and added some general ferts. Planted some early cos lettuce and spinach that those pesky birds, sparrow and finches I'm guessing, reduced to ribs in just hours forcing me to add some protective netting.
On that note there is Lemongrass, sometimes referred to as citronella grass, and these are some of the best plants that I have seen. Lemon grass is fab for all manner of cooking from making a nice refreshing cup of tea to adding authentic flavour to Asian cooking recipes where it adds a lovely, tangy, lemon flavour. It is used widely in aromatherapy, essential oils, bug sprays and medicinal uses. As a plant it forms a clump of arching narrow leaf blades rising from bulbous stalks. The clump can reach about a meter high and wide. It will benefit from a yearly trim after it's dormant time when frosts are done. Plant it in places that the fragrance can benefit you with both it's lovely fragrance and mosquito and white fly deterrent properties. It is perennial and may be evergreen in warmer climates but will die back in the cooler areas.
Mint Basil Lemongrass Dill Marjoram Artichoke
We have asparagus back in with the lovely big European Male crowns that have just arrived. They will need their own dedicated space in the garden with good drainage. Plant crowns in trenches that have been back filled with mulch or compost. They are a long lived plant and will produce lots of lovely large spears of delicious asparagus for many years to come.
A note from our event post "Hello to everyone in the Waikato, our Vice Chairperson of the Taranaki Fringe Garden Festival will be up at Wairere Nursery in Hamilton this Saturday 21st Sept, 10am - 2pm to chat about our festival and will have plenty of brochures on hand. Please pop by and visit Julie for a lovely garden chat."
Hopefully we can make her trip memorable with lots of interest for the upcoming festival.
Another event that we had listed in our events page was the Waikato Cherry Tree Festival. Sadly this has had to be cancelled, I have been led to believe this may be due to not being granted the required resource consent permits. Here's hoping this will be a happening thing next year.
We are looking forward to another gorgeous weekend and I particularly am looking forward to the extended daylight hours that will be starting on the 29th of September this year. Not too far away now.