Felicity Cloake takes her pick of your juiciest orange recipes.
You responded with zest to this theme. We had sanguinello sorbets, Indonesian-style duck à l'orange, zingy Cuban mojo and a citrus-free, but shockingly orange pasta dish. It's a shame that time constraints ruled out Carla Phillips' vin d'orange aperitif, which requires six weeks to come to fruition. I might make it for Easter, but in the meantime I'll enjoy Laura Scott's gorgeous carrot soup.
The winning recipe: carrot, cardamom and orange spiced soup
Like a ray of sunshine, this spicy soup really warms you up on a chilly day. Laura Scott, Epsom howtocookgoodfood.co.uk
1 tbsp olive oil, for frying
6 carrots, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 tsp harissa paste (more if you like)
6 cardamom pods, seeds only
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Cream, to garnish
1 Fry the carrots, leek, harissa and cardamom for 5 minutes in a saucepan, then add the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
2 Take the soup off the heat and blitz it with a hand blender. Add the zest and juice of the orange. Garnish with cream.
Afghan orange and chicken biryani
I've served this dish many times, yet there never seems to be enough to go around, no matter how big the portions. Shaun Kelly, St Bees
3 chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
3 large oranges
450ml basmati rice, measured in a jug
2 tbsp ghee
5 cloves, crushed
3 pieces cassia bark (or a cinnamon stick)
2 tsp fennel seeds, roughly ground
8 cardamom pods, crushed, husks removed
3 tbsp raisins
½tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp flaked almonds, lightly toasted
1 heaped tbsp fresh coriander, to garnish
For the marinade
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp dried fenugreek
1 onion, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 Mix the chicken with the marinade ingredients and leave overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours. Soak the rice in cold water for at least 4 hours, then rinse and drain well.
2 Cut the peel from 1 orange into 1cm strips, avoiding the pith. Melt the ghee in a frying pan and gently fry the peel and remaining spices for 5 minutes.
3 Mix the rice, raisins, fried orange peel, spices, caster sugar, the juice of 2 oranges, 570ml boiling water and a pinch of salt to a microwaveable dish. Seal the dish with cling film and its lid, then microwave for 14 minutes (650W).
4 Meanwhile, fry the chicken until cooked through and lightly browned.
5 Once the rice is cooked, remove the peel and large spices, tip into a large ovenproof dish and add the chicken and toasted almonds. Squeeze in the juice of the remaining orange and mix thoroughly. Garnish with coriander.
Steamed marmalade sponge pudding
A light pudding that's lovely served hot with fresh custard, cream or ice-cream. Margaret Crisell, Teddington
2 tbsp good quality marmalade
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 large eggs
135g softened butter
135g caster sugar
135g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of 1 orange
2 tsp milk, if needed
1 Butter a big pudding basin and mix the marmalade and syrup in it.
2 In a bowl, vigorously beat the eggs until really frothy.
3 In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until they become pale and the mixture drops off the spoon. Add the eggs a little at a time until incorporated. If they curdle, add a little of the flour and continue to beat well.
4 Gently fold in the flour, sieved with the baking powder, and the zest. If the mixture seems really stiff, add around 2 tsp of milk to loosen it.
5 Add the mixture to the pudding basin and level roughly. Cover with two layers of non-stick paper, pleated in the middle to let the pudding rise unhindered, then two layers of pleated foil. Tie securely around the rim.
6 Steam the pudding in a covered saucepan for 1½ hours. When you remove the covering, the pudding will sink a bit, but don't worry. Turn it out on to a warm plate to serve.
Orange and avocado salad with poppy seed dressing
This salad is absolutely delicious: zingy, rich and very moreish. This recipe makes more dressing than you'll need, but it keeps well in the fridge. Katherine Punch, London
For the dressing
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
160ml red wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp yellow onion, finely chopped
720ml rapeseed oil
3 tbsp poppy seeds
For the salad
100g baby spinach
2 avocados, stone removed and sliced
2 large oranges, peeled and pith removed
1 Combine the egg, sugar, mustard, vinegar, salt and onion in a food processor. Blitz for 1 minute, pouring in the oil as a slow and steady stream. Transfer to a bowl and add the seeds.
2 Layer a platter with spinach, rocket, rounds of orange and slices of avocado. Top with some of the dressing.
Orange and bay jelly
Fresh bay leaves add a bittersweet floral scent to the tangy orange, in this recipe inspired by Skye Gyngell. Jessica Baum, Bristol themotherinlawskitchen.wordpress.com
3 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried bay leaf)
500ml freshly squeezed orange juice, plus extra for serving
2 tbsp caster sugar
3 sheets gelatine or 1½ tsp agar-agar
Sunflower oil, for greasing
1 orange, to garnish
1 Lightly crush the bay leaves to release their scent. Add them to a saucepan along with the orange juice and sugar. Heat gently, stirring briefly to dissolve the sugar.
2 Meanwhile, if using gelatine, soak in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the excess liquid. Bring your juice to the boil, remove from the heat and add the gelatine. Stir to dissolve and strain into a jug.
3 If using agar-agar, soak in cold water and remove after 5 minutes, then add straight to the saucepan. Boil the juice along with the sugar and bay leaves for 5 minutes, then strain into a jug.
4 Grease your moulds before pouring in the warm liquid. Set aside to cool completely and then pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
5 When ready to serve (ideally on the day you make them), briskly dip the bottom of the mould in warm water and run a palette knife around the edge of the jelly to dislodge. Squeeze a little juice and place a slice or two of orange on each plate. Complete with your little wobbly jelly balanced on top.
Chocolate chip and orange biscuits
Soya flour adds a complex, nutty flavour and density to one of the best food pairings since bread and butter. Laura Cooper, Stockport
Zest of 2 oranges
Zest of ½ lemon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp orange extract
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp cocoa powder
50ml orange juice
50ml liquid coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
150g white cake flour (or pastry flour)
150g soya flour (or pastry flour)
½ tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate chips
3 tbsp flax seed, mixed with 2 tbsp water
Walnuts, crushed, to garnish
1 Preheat oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Mix the ingredients up to coconut oil in a big bowl and set aside.
2 Add the sifted flours and baking powder then fold in the chocolate. Add the flax seed mix, and fold until the chocolate is equally distributed.
3 Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread 1 tbsp of dough in a circle for each biscuit. Crush the walnut, if using, on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until firm.
4 Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg and orange zest, and dunk in cold milk.
Picture: Oranges are not the only fruit but they're an essential ingredient for these recipes. Photograph: Jill Mead for the Guardian.