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Bakers tend to overlook oranges. They shouldn’t. It’s a wonderful flavor that works either as a backdrop or as a primary flavor.
Open your cookbook and see how many are “apple recipes” and how many are “orange recipes.” In my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, the score is 16 for apples and 9 for oranges. In a Martha Stewart Cookbook, it was six to one. It seems to me that they should be balanced: Apples are better in the fall and oranges are better in the spring.
It’s amazing how many ways you can use oranges; I think more than apples. Oranges work with everything from vanilla to chocolate. They work with sweet spices. Cinnamon is particularly nice with oranges. And oranges work with most of the soft fruits, from strawberries to peaches.
As I write this, we have apricot sweet rolls rising. We’ll add an orange cream cheese frosting to them when they come from the oven. (We took a cinnamon bun mix and added an apricot pastry filling. We’re serving them in the store as well as rolls filled with Bavarian cream and topped with a fudge frosting and some strawberry cream filled rolls.)
Today, we’ll share recipes and ways to use oranges in your baking.
The Saga of the Orange Cream Flavor
A supplier sent us an orange cream flavor. I had never seen a flavor with the color added. When you got the color the right tone, the flavor was right. And it was just like the orange cream cycle we ate as kids.
First, we made soda pop with the flavor. We made a punch and added dry ice to carbonate it. And then on a Saturday, we made cupcakes with orange cream frosting and served them in the store. It was a hit so we ordered more and put it on the shelf. We ordered a dry version so we could put it in our mixes. (We haven’t got that far yet.)
Strawberry Shortcake with Orange Cloud Whipped Cream
We make flavored whipped cream often. We love strawberries with either Orange Cloud Whipped Cream or Lemon Cloud Whipped Cream. Simply substitute orange or lemon flavoring for the vanilla and add zest.
Recipes You’ll Love
Orange Crusted French Toast
It’s the zest that adds orange flavor to your baking, not the juice. We added one tablespoon of fresh zest to three tablespoons of sugar for a bright orange flavor.
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 pinch salt
3-4 slices bread
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon zest grated from an orange
Mix the zest and the sugar together. Set it aside.
Whisk two eggs and the milk or cream together along with the salt.
Dip the bread, one slice at a time, in egg mixture coating both sides. Place the dipped bread in a medium hot skillet that has been lightly buttered.
Immediately sprinkle the orange sugar mixture over the bread. We put a nice heavy coating of sugar on the bread but you can add whatever you desire.
Cook the bread for about three minutes or until it starts to brown on the bottom.
Turn the bread over and cook the coated side for about two minutes or until done. Remove the bread to a platter and serve hot.
Set the temperature for the pan a little lower than what you w
ould for most French toast. The sugar in the mixture will caramelize quickly against the hot pan. A slightly lower heat will help assure against burning.
More Things to Make with Orange (Products)