Cardamom-Spiced Oranges

November 3, 2014


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 every late fall/winter Miss M. and I end up hanging out in the enema aisle quite a bit–like once a week. It’s not pretty.*

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

ANYways, I remembered this recipe from a few years ago and decided to give it another try. I figured that if I could kind of dress up winter fruit as a dessert, I had a speck of a fighting chance of getting my stubborn youngest child to try it.

It’s drop-dead gorgeous, for starters.

It’s also delicious and transforms oranges into something not so humble. This dessert has a little sexy thing going on.

I kept it simple this time, hoping to appease Miss M., but next time I make it, 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–because the holidays are (dear God) ahead–and let’s face it, we’re saving ass space for Christmas cookies.

Even if you use whipped cream in this recipe (instead of Greek yogurt, which is what I used), you can still consider yourself pretty virtuous.

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 recipe if you’re hating on winter fruit right now.  It’ll cheer up and make you forget all about those asshat bananas.


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.


*To my credit, I tried many other methods before the Curse of the Enema: 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. Then, on doctor’s suggestion, I tried this stuff called Miralax, which is supposed to be colorless, textureless and tasteless when blended with water or another beverage, but Miss M. knew immediately that something was suspect.She’ll swallow a small pill, so she can handle stool softeners, and we do those, but by the end of the week, that kid still needs some cleaning out.


**And no, Miss M. would not eat this. Argh! Miss D. liked it, though.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa @ The Meaning of Me November 3, 2014 at 10:18 pm

A friend told me many years ago not to waste my money on cardamom because I would never use it in anything. Bull. I have used it in more things than I can count starting with cardamom shortbread cookies (my favorite) and ending with these oranges, which I am so going to make.
After a summer of CSA bounty, the winter fruits sure do look blah. Poor Miss M. :( If you’re looking for something more exciting, have you tried dragon fruit? Kidzilla loves it. Or horned melon? They are both so ugly but my adventurous little eater wanted to try them at various points and we found we like them both. A nice change from bananas and citrus.
Thanks for the photos on the supreme technique – I’m grateful. :)


Pamela November 4, 2014 at 3:50 am

I have NEVER been able to supreme am orange. Thanks for the help!

Have you tried Triphala? It’s a mix of 3 fruits and it’s great for the big C. What’s better is that is more gentle than Miralax. Had years of this with O and Triohala works. You can get it at most health food stores or Banyan Boyanicals. You can even use it every day ….

I want to supreme an orange today!!


Abby November 4, 2014 at 6:32 am

I have to admit that I’m not a big orange fan, just because there’s entirely too much work involved with actually peeling the damn things. Then I’m stuck with sticky hands and those stringy white things in my teeth.

But, TMI, I did go through a big “blockage” phase in my life. I had stool softeners, etc. but what I’ve found to really kick things into gear is hot tea first thing in the morning, hot oatmeal made with almond/coconut milk (more hot liquids to get things going) and sometimes dried fruit. It doesn’t have to be prunes, but pretty much any dried fruit in small doses helps a little bit. Good luck with that!


Shannon November 4, 2014 at 6:58 am

I am mourning the loss of summer fruits already.


Arnebya November 4, 2014 at 7:02 am

Giggling that she didn’t eat it, even though it’s pretty. And yeah, I’m right there with you every year, angry at the winter fruit. And no, no, I’m not gonna shell out $10 for organic nothing (but damn those blackberries look good). I just realized I had no cherries all year. They all looked…wrong every time I tried. Separately, I’m always backed up and irregular. If it ain’t bothering her…


Jennifer November 4, 2014 at 8:18 am

Cady had this problem when she was younger, but she likes prunes. A few of those spruced her right up.


Annette November 4, 2014 at 8:33 am

Your photos are gorgeous!


S in AK November 4, 2014 at 10:48 am

I adore cardamom. Thank you for this. I knew there were lots of reasons I love you! Hey, have you got a Vitamix? You can make great! tasting juices (peel, seeds and all) and if you use frozen fruit, you can make tasty sorbets and ice creams, too. Here’s a link for a strawberry and peach sorbet with a few vegetables (she won’t know they’re there) tossed in. Don’t forget summer’s peaches, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and melons are also available in the freezer section.


Biz November 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

OMG, your tag lines are killing me! My daughter is the exact opposite, give her any kind of fruit and she is a happy camper. She was thrilled when she became an assistant manager at Panera and got her meals for free – she’d load the biggest to go drinking cup (I think 32 ounces) with fruit!

Um, just a side note, she’s actually taken a crap on the phone with me, that’s how regular the kid is. You’re welcome for that visual. :D


Jane November 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm

This sounds divine so I’m pinning this for later use – because we’re still up to our eyeballs in apples.


Sherri November 5, 2014 at 10:00 am

Looks soooo good.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes November 12, 2014 at 12:42 am

Please don’t talk about bananas. There was a time when those cocky little bastards where the only fruit n1 would touch.


Tiffany November 19, 2014 at 8:30 pm



Tiffany December 14, 2014 at 7:10 am

I am making these this week! Thank you!


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