The Tangelo-Tangerine Puddings from Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison have a lot of good things going for them. First off they're a gorgeous, vibrant shade of orange that brings to mind all sorts of happy things (sunshine, sherbet). Secondly, they are the perfect summer dessert—less than five minutes of heat on the stovetop then a chill in the fridge means you won't suffer from the dreaded summer kitchen sweats. And lastly, they are dairy-free, gluten-free, and even vegan if you opt to sweeten them with agave instead of sugar or honey.
The recipe can be adapted to use any citrus you want, just be sure to taste and sweeten accordingly. Blood oranges make for a lovely ruby-colored pudding; grapefruits would add a great sweet-bitter element. The only real hands-on labor here is squeezing your fruit, and once you've done that, the rest of the preparation couldn't be easier.
The juice is mixed with the zest of whichever fruit you've chosen, then heated with some cornstarch to thicken. The sweetener is up to you: Madison suggests stevia, honey, or agave syrup. Before you pour your pudding into glasses to chill, you can even add additional flavorings such as yuzu or orange blossom water.
Once the puddings are done chilling, serve them as is or top them with a bit of freshly whipped cream or a drizzle of fruit purée. This is a recipe that's just waiting to be personalized—the options are infinite. Steep a vanilla bean with the tangerine mixture? Add some puréed berries? (Yes to both.) It's a light-enough dessert for summer, but let's be honest, you can enjoy this at any temperature.
Win Seasonal Fruit Desserts
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Seasonal Fruit Desserts to give away this month.
- 1 heaping teaspoon finely grated tangerine, tangelo, or other citrus zest
- 1 tablespoon organic sugar
- 3 tablespoons organic cornstarch
- 2 cups fresh tangelo juice (from 10 to 12 tangelos) or mixed citrus juice
- Tiny pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon bottled yuzu juice or 1 tablespoon orange-flower water
- Stevia, orange blossom honey, or agave nectar, to taste
Smash the tangerine zest with the sugar to moisten the sugar with the fruit's aromatic oils. Transfer to a 1-quart saucepan along with the cornstarch, juice, and salt. Stir to dissolve the cornstarch.
Turn on the heat, bring the mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring, until the juice has thickened, after just a few minutes. Cook for 1 minute more, then turn off the heat and whisk in the butter and yuzu or orange-flower water. Taste, and if extra sweetener is needed, add a few drops of stevia, orange blossom honey, or agave nectar.