Thursday, 9 August 2012

Candied Oranges & St. Martins Orange Buns

I am the first to acknowledge that I am not always the easiest person to live with, particularly when life has been stressful and busy. I do have a tendency to take it out on those closest to me, namely my husband. So, when I am on holiday from teaching I try to earn some brownie points. 

These orange buns are inspired by those that were baked by his maternal grandmother. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of tasting the original recipe and it does not seem to have been written down anywhere. Nevertheless, over the years I have been party to a number of in-depth family debates about how she made her famous orange buns.  I have never managed to get them quite right, trying both scone- and bread-based recipes. Scones seem to be the winning formula.

So, this is my most recent attempt, an orange scone recipe made with candied oranges perfumed with coriander seeds and orange blossom water. If I have managed to evoke some of the fond memories that all of her family had for Nana and her baking then I have succeeded, even if I have strayed from the original recipe. I hope she would have approved!
P.S. Back tomorrow with a recipe for the leftover orange syrup, don't throw it away!

For the candied oranges
300 ml. water
100 g. sugar
2-3 oranges sliced
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. orange blossom water

Put the water, sugar, coriander seeds and orange blossom water in a large frying pan and stir. Put the frying pan on the heat and add the orange slices. Heat on medium-high until boiling, reduce the heat to low-medium so the syrup is gently bubbling. 

It will take about 30 minutes for the oranges to become candied. They need to be turned occasionally, but do not stir the syrup as the sugar will crystallize.  

When they are ready (the orange peel becomes less opaque), remove them from the pan onto greaseproof paper to cool.

Once cooled they can be used in cakes and biscuits or dipped in melted chocolate.

For the orange buns
225 g. self-raising flour
55 g. cold butter cut into cubes
55 g. caster sugar
175 g. of candied orange chopped into small pieces
1tbsp. orange syrup
100 ml. milk (approx.)  

For the icing
75 g. icing sugar
1 tsp. orange blossom water
1 tsp. orange syrup
2 tsp. orange juice
2 slices of candied orange

Preheat your oven to 220°C. Rub together the flour and butter until they have a fine breadcrumb texture, I used the paddle attachment on a free standing mixer. 

Mix in the sugar and candied orange, I prefer to do this by hand, then make a well and add the orange syrup and most of the milk. Mix and bring the dough together with your hands, adding more milk if you need to.

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and roll out until about 2-3 cm thick. Cut out rounds with a small cutter. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for about 15 minutes or until risen and slightly golden.

Remove and put on a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile mix together the icing sugar, syrup, orange blossom water and orange juice. Spoon the mixture over the buns and cut a small piece of candied orange to place on top.

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