A bright, beautiful basket packed with glistening tangelos, sitting on my kitchen table, was the sight that greeted me one afternoon this week, as I walked in the door from another day in the office. It was such a cheering site, after watching these delightful fruits spring to life, from wonderfully sweet-smelling tiny, white blossoms that had adorned my father in law's garden in the summer months.
The color and sweet, zingy citrus aroma of the tangelos transported me straight back to the last time I had visited the Ionian islands, where the green gardens of Mr K's family had been dotted with, what looked like little hanging ornaments with deep orange hues.
I devoured a few of the tangelos fresh. They were not particularly sour - definitely stronger and much juicier, than an orange. I wanted to make something with the remaining tangelos, which really captured my memories of our last trip to the Ionian islands. My mother in law suggested a simple butter cake, filled with tangelo juice and zest - along with a healthy cupful of the tiny dark currants, native to her home Island of Zakynthos.
The resulting cake was a huge success in our house. Mr K could not believe how much the flavour and texture of the cake reminded him of those he had eaten as a child in the Zakynthian kitchens of his mother's family and friends.
Tangelo and currant cake from the Ionian Islands
2 cups of organic self raising flour
1 cup organic caster sugar
1 cup butter, unsalted
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup 'Zante' currants
Peel and juice of two tangelos
1/3 cup of metaxa Brandy
Powdered / icing sugar, to dust
1. Preheat oven to 190C. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add beaten eggs, currants, zest and juice of the tangelos.
2. Mix in flour and then the brandy. Add a little more brandy if the mix looks too dry. The mixture should be of dropping consistency, but still thick.
3. Place the mix in a buttered and floured round tin (25cm) and bake for 1 hour. When cool, remove from the tin and dust over the icing sugar and a little extra zest.