Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Clementines are a cute little type of mandarin oranges that were developed in Spain. They are seen in markets from November until March. Although they are grown in other places, I believe the ones from Spain are the most flavorful.
The first time I tasted a Clementine I was in line at a check-out counter in a supermarket at Christmas time. The man behind me had a box of Clementines in his cart. The line in front of me was long and for some reason that I can’t remember now, I turned to him, pointed to the box of little oranges in his cart and asked, “Are those good?”
“You’ve never tried one?” he asked with a surprised look on his face. He turned and, with his fingers, ripped a little hole in the mesh covering the Clementines and took one from the wooden crate and proudly handed it to me. “Try this,” he said. “Clementines are one of my very favorite Christmas fruits and I promise you that you will always remember the first time you tasted a Clementine.”
He was right and since that day every year I look forward with great anticipation to my first sighting of the bright blue boxes with mesh covering the little sweet orange Spanish Clementines around the holiday season. Most of the time we peel them with our fingers as you would a Navel orange and eat the segments out of hand. I especially like them with dark chocolate as a simple dessert. Here I’ve used them in a Galette over tart raspberry jam. I took a short cut and used a purchased pie crust, but homemade would be even better. Next time I’ll put the Clementines a little closer together. As you can see in this close-up below, by the time they finished baking they were further apart than I would have liked.
If you’ve never tasted a Spanish Clementine, give them a try and maybe you too will remember your first taste as fondly as I do. If they are already one of your favorite seasonal fruits, here is just one more way to enjoy them during their short winter season.
Adapted from The Fresh Market – Serves 4
4 – 5 Spanish Clementines
1 store-bought pie crust or homemade crust, brought to room temperature
2 tablespoons of a good raspberry jam
2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice the tops and bottoms off of the Clementines and set them on one of the cut surfaces. With a sharp knife, cut the peel and pith off in downward strips around each Clementine to reveal the flesh. Cut into 3 thin slices across the width, making round wheel slices. Remove any seeds. Sprinkle the Clementines with the Turbinado sugar on both sides, taking special care not to allow the slices to fall apart (which they will want to do), and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and unroll pie crust on top of the paper. Spread an even layer of the jam on top, making sure to leave a two-inch border from the edge. Lay the Clementine slices over the top of jam. Fold dough edges over and brush folded dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle the entire galette with more Turbinado sugar. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and center is bubbling.
This recipe will be linked to the fabulous Foodie Friday party hosted by Designs by Gollum. Enjoy this stunning live poinsettia tree at the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers, Florida.
Apologies for the photos. We don't have our normal computer, but hopefully we'll be back to normal soon. Who knew you should have a spare.