The barbed tang of Seville, perfect in sponge

Seville orange and almond sponge
Seville orange and almond sponge
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During the week Julia asked if we had any oranges.

Not realising she intended to eat one, I told her there was a boxful in the store room.

However, they were the bitter Seville variety used to make marmalade. Oops!

On the first bite Julia’s face contorted as the sharp, bitter juice kicked in.

She thought I was playing a prank on her.

But despite this she ate the whole thing, pulling funny faces because she wanted the vitamin C to ward off the start of a cold.

These oranges are really not great for eating.

But they are great for marmalade-making and this is the time of year when Britain’s favourite breakfast spread is made.

We make as much as we can store and use it over the coming months in ice creams, pastries and on thick slices of toast.

The knobbly, thick-skinned oranges are grown in the Mediterranean.

They are shipped to us during the winter, bringing a little colour to our kitchen.

The people of Spain are very fond of almonds and in this recipe I combine them with the home-made marmalade to make a beautiful sponge.

Even if you haven’t made your own marmalade this year, you can always buy a jar to make this sponge.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives at Emsworth ( Call 01243 377914.

Seville orange and almond sponge


(Makes six small sponges)

115g ground almonds

115g butter

115g sugar

25g gluten-free self-raising flour

Tablespoon marmalade

Flaked almonds to top


1. Cream together the sugar and butter until smooth and pale.

2. Add half the ground almonds and one egg and beat together.

3. Add the other half of the ground almonds, the other egg and the marmalade and beat together.

4.Fold in the gluten-free flour.

5 Spoon into greased rings and top with the flaked almonds.

6.Bake for 20 minutes at 150c/gas 3 until firm to the touch.