Ramblings from a voracious eater
on the dish that made her day
|The blood orange posset|
Once a year, around January and February, the sunset colours of blood oranges give us wintry cheer. The oranges that we have are from Sicily - from the foothills of Mount Etna, so Riverford tells me, and the blush of the segments varies from modest to deep crimson - evoking those Mediterranean hues of the evening sky.
After considering a granita or a jelly, I decide to make a posset. I haven’t many oranges left (after many are consumed nakedly fresh, without fanfare, and as instant cure for the effects from the-night-before) and posset doesn't require a lot of juice. With its use of three ingredients – oranges, sugar and cream, this is possibly one of the simplest puddings to make while looking as though you've put in abundant effort.
|Squeezing the orange|
125ml fresh blood orange juice (about 2 oranges)
500ml double cream
115-120g caster sugar (to taste. I don’t like it too sweet)
Zest from one orange
Blood orange segments - from 1 or 2 oranges
Shortbread to serve
Put all the ingredients into a pan - I love pouring the blood orange juice in last and watching the ruby liquid marble the cream as I stir with a wooden spoon. Like thick paints that you mix in primary school, watch the cream turn a pale peach (not unlike the colour of strawberry angel delight).
Heat until it reaches a simmer, then cook on the lowest heat for five minutes. Take off the heat and cool at room temperature. This should take an hour or two. Stretch clingfilm over the mixture to prevent a skin forming.
Pour into champagne coupe glasses and chill in the fridge until set (another three hours at least). Garnish with two segments of blood orange and serve immediately with a thin shortbread.
Diana Henry writes a fascinating article about the blood orange here.