Oranges in Cardamom Syrup with Honey Yogurt

April 13, 2012

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again–winter fruit blows. It doesn’t seem so bad in September, when those little Clementine “Cuties” things debut and you can still push your luck and score a watermelon that isn’t pithy, and it’s still maybe okay in October, when the apples are juicy and crisp and kind of a revelation after a season of berries and peaches. But by November? I am bitter, people.  Pears are boring and the bananas  make me downright enraged, mocking me from their overstacked tower in the produce aisle.

“Look at me! I’m a banana! King of all Winter fruits, babe, and you’re stuck with me until April, so surrender and just plop me in your cart, yo. Well, unless you want to shell out 6 bucks for one of those half-pints of organic raspberries, which you know your part-German ass will never forgive you if you do.”

Those cocky winter bananas. Jerkstores.

Another problem with winter fruit? Miss M. will have  nothing to do with it. She’s a pretty hard customer when it comes to ANY fruit or veg, but winter fruit? No way. So Miss M. and I have been hanging out in the enema aisle lately. It’s not pretty. To my credit, I tried those fiber gummy-bear thingys first, but then one day I discovered a stash of about 70 of them under a couch cushion in the playroom. She’s a wily one, that M.

We’re clogged here in the Rocky Mountains, and I know that’s too much information but I over-share and you know about that, so I hope you will forgive.

***Awkward segue***

We almost cancelled Easter this year. Not the egg hunt thing–we’re not that Stalin-esque–but the whole dinner part of it. Because frankly, I’m not very hungry and ruthlessly un-fun right now, and I thought I might spare the family my company.  They sort of thought that was a good idea, too (yes, I am that foul) but in the end, we just couldn’t harden our hearts enough to cancel the whole Easter spectacle.*

Mama did most of the cooking, although I did bust out a great broccoli gratin that I cannot wait to share in the future, and I made this very light, very winter-fruity dessert that by the end of the afternoon, I was too exhausted to remember I’d prepared. So nobody got to eat it.  Well, I got to eat it, the morning after and for a few other mornings. It’s actually delicious and transforms oranges into something not so humble. This dessert has a little sexy thing going on. When I make it again (and I will) I think I’ll add a few chopped, toasted pistachios or almonds on top, just for texture.

It’s great as is, though, and it won’t expand any ass space that you’re trying to control for the warmer months ahead, even if you use whipped cream instead of Greek yogurt, which is what I did. Someone obviously spends too much time contemplating her ass space. *sigh*

The only trick to this recipe is that is requires you to “supreme” an orange, which sounds scary, but it’s not. I took a few photos to kind of give you an idea how it works, but the method eliminates that pesky pith that oranges and grapefruit have that is sometimes bitter. Plus, it makes them look purty.

Try this one if you’re hating on winter fruit right now.  It’ll cheer you right up.

Oranges in Cardamom Syrup with Honey Whipped Cream

adapted from Fine Cooking

serves 4-6

4 large navel oranges, cut into segments

1/4 cup sugar

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (I love cardamom so I went heavy)

1/2 cup whipped cream or whole-milk plain Greek yogurt

2-3 teaspoons honey

Supreme the oranges. Cut the ends off both sides of the orange so it sits up nice and straight.

Using a sharp paring knife, cut the skin off the orange, making sure to get all of the white pith off (although you will see white lines of pith between the segments, which will be your friend later on, I promise, so don’t fret about them).

With that same sharp paring knife, over a bowl, use the lines of pith as your guide: cut the segments out between the lines of pith, so all you have are clean, orange, perfect segments. Set the segments and juice aside.

Put the sugar in a small, heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until melted and light amber in color, about 3-5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the orange juice. The mixture will bubble and clump but just whisk it together until it is smooth again. Stir in the cardamom.

Put the orange segments into the bowl with reserved juice and pour the syrup over. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate.

In a medium bowl. whisk the yogurt and honey together to taste. ((f using cream, whisk the honey with the cream until smooth. Add the remaining cream and beat with a mixer until soft peaks form, 2-3 minutes).

Divide orange and syrup among bowls, topping with dollops of the yogurt/cream.

*Well, I sort of lied. The Easter spectacle happened by the Grace of the Gods. I woke up, sat upright, startled at 2am and realized we hadn’t hidden the eggs. (It’s chilly on Colorado mornings, so we do one indoor hunt in the morning and then several in the afternoon, when it warms up). And there was NO way that Miss M. (aka:the rooster) would sleep in enough for us to hide them in the morning.  Painkiller-addled, I lurched downstairs, found the eggs and made such a ruckus that I awakened my husband, who helped me finish the job. We hide HellaLotta eggs because the girls adore Easter.

**Mistake 2: We forgot to take pictures. In retrospect, this is probably a good thing. Poor D. had to get glasses (she picked out neon blue, Hello!) and she has to have her braces on for another few months. Miss M. lost 2 teeth in a week and is working on a third, and this Mama looks like she’s been in a prizefight with a very strong Orangutan. So I think 2012 Easter photos are not going to be missed. I’ll leave you with last year’s, though. That one? It’s a keeper.

I hope that you all had wonderful Easters, Readers. Spring, spring, spring is coming…can you believe it? I’ve missed you so. But as it took me THREE freaking hours to put together a post about oranges, I think things are going to be a little slow around Chez T.  Thank you so much for the outpouring of concern, love, cards, gag-gifts and emails. I usually spend 20 minutes at the computer in the morning and you start my day with a smile. I love you.

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