LAWRENCE MURPHY: 'Tis the season for a tangy treat

Clementines can also make a fantastic juice for breakfast or cocktails
Clementines can also make a fantastic juice for breakfast or cocktails

ALISTAIR GIBSON: Here's some crackers for a perfect white Christmas

Chef Rick Stein.

Food & Drink: Five minutes with... Rick Stein

CLEMENTINE AND GINGER SPONGE Makes a large tin loaf

Clementines are apparently a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange, but to me they are an indicator that we are only a short time away from Christmas, and possibly snow.

They are much cuter than an orange, easier to peel, so much sweeter, and a big bowl of clementines with their leaves on makes a fantastic centrepiece to any kitchen table.

Most are just peeled and eaten, however they make a fantastic tangy juice for breakfast or cocktails and there are no pips to sieve out.

Clementines contain essential vitamins, especially vitamin C which is good for skin care, and they also boost your immune system.

Because of their tangy nature they are good cooked with fatty meats such as pork belly or duck but in this recipe they are used to make a lovely sponge which is spiked with fresh root ginger.

You will have to cook the ginger in sugar and water before adding it to the sponge mix.

Ingredients

200g butter

200g sugar

Juice and zest of 3 clementines

3 eggs

180g self raising flour

30g ground almonds

4dstspns cooked root ginger

Method

1. Beat the sugar and butter together in a bowl until soft.

2. Add the zest of the clementines and one quarter of the flour and mix together.

3. Add the juice and one egg, beat and add another quarter of the flour.

4. Now add the remaining two eggs, flour and ground almonds and mix together.

5. Spoon in the root ginger and some of the syrup and stir in.

6. Pour into a lined tin mould and bake in a preheated oven (160C/gas 4) for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool. Slice pieces of ginger and pour a little more ginger syrup over the top before serving.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives, Emsworth. Visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377 914.