Posts tagged ‘orange’

December 21, 2009

Orange Cookies

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January 1, 2009

Cassata Arance

If you are accustomed to cream cheese based cheesecakes, this may take an adjustment for your tastebuds.  Sicilian cheesecakes, or cassatas, are made with ricotta cheese and are not as sweet and unlike American cheesecakes, they are lighter and have almost a baked custard texture.

And as for oranges, forget Florida.  It doesn’t get any better than a Sicilian blood orange or arance.  Their centers are blood red like a pink grapefruit.  If your local grocer doesn’t carry blood oranges, which there is a good bet that they don’t, you can substitue with mandarins for this recipe.  The key is finding a sharp tart orange, the smaller the better the concentrated flavour.

It is critical that you have a springform pan for this recipe, a round cake pan just will not suffice.  The water used in the glass dish allows for the cake to remain moist while baking.  This will reduce the chance of the cake cracking or separating.

I hope you like this dessert as much as I do, it displays beautifully and is just so tasty!


2 16 oz. containers of ricotta cheese (typically found near cottage cheese in the grocery)

1/2 cup sugar

6 large eggs

1/3 cup flour, sifted

2 blood oranges

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 275 F.
  • Grease and lightly flour springform pan.*
  • Using aluminium foil, wrap the base of the springform pan to prevent seapage.
  • Set pan in a glass baking dish, 13 x 9.
  • Fill glass dish halfway with tap water.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat ricotta at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • With a whisk, stir in sugar and flour into ricotta until well blended.
  • One at a time, beat eggs into mixture.
  • Add spices and vanilla, blend thoroughly.
  • Using a zester or the rough side of a peeler, grate a few spoonfuls of orange peel into a bowl.
  • Peel oranges and segment.
  • Pour one half of batter into springform pan.
  • Gently lay orange segments onto the batter, do not stir.
  • Pour remaining batter over top.
  • Sprinkle orange peel zest over top.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until knife comes out clean.
  • Remove springform pan from water and allow to cool for at least one hour before unhinging.
  • Serve after slightly cooled.

*If you can find them, there are aerosol sprays that have flour and oil combined and work perfectly for this purpose.  I prefer Baker’s Joy brand.

January 1, 2009

Carrot Salad

This was one of my favourite jello based salads that my grandmother used to make and it’s a fun recipe that you can let the kids get involved in too.  I have seen this done with raisins added in, but I am not a fan of the lil’ buggers, so you won’t see them here.  You also won’t see the walnuts that my grandmother used to throw in because I don’t like the crunch they give to the salad, it just seems out of place.  This stores well overnight and is a great dish for pot lucks.


1     3 oz. box orange Jell-O

1 c. carrots, grated

1     15 oz. can crushed pineapple

  • Bring one cup of water to boil over medium to high heat.
  • Stir in gelatin packet until thoroughly dissolved.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Drain pineapple juice into a liquid measuring cup.
  • Add water to pineapple juice to make 2 cups of liquid total.
  • Stir into Jell-O mixture.
  • Pour Jell-O liquid into casserole dish, 13 x 9.
  • Stir in crushed pineapple and carrots until well blended.
  • Chill until set.
  • Serve.