Blood Oranges in Pepper and Rosemary Syrup with Lace Biscuits

Delicate oat biscuits make a perfect pairing to Sophie Grigson's spicy oranges
By Sophie Grigson
Blood Oranges in Pepper and Rosemary Syrup with Lace Biscuits
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6 (makes 25 biscuits)
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus chilling
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the oranges

  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 6 blood oranges, or 4 large oranges
  • lightly whipped cream, to serve

For the lace biscuits

  • 110 g rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp plain flour, sifted
  • 220 g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 110 g butter
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Method

1. For the oranges: put the sugar, water and rosemary in a pan. Crush the peppercorns coarsely and add them to the pan too. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

2. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool until tepid and strain.

3. Pare the orange zest off 1 ½ small oranges or 1 larger one, and shred. Drop into a small pan of boiling water and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and dry on kitchen paper.

4. Peel all the oranges, removing as much of the bitter white pith as you can, and slice thinly. Place in a bowl and pour over the syrup. Scatter with the shredded zest. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

5. For the lace biscuits: preheat the oven to 170C/gas 5. Line several baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

6. Mix the oats, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

7. Melt the butter, and while still hot, pour over the dry ingredients. Stir until evenly mixed. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and vanilla essence. Mix thoroughly.

8. Drop teaspoons of the mixture on to the baking sheets leaving a good 5cm gap between each dollop. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

9. Serve the oranges and biscuits with lightly whipped cream.

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