Caramelised blood oranges with anise

Thomasina Miers prepares a colourful dessert that contrasts the tart sweetness of blood oranges with crisp, dark caramel
By Thomasina Miers
Caramelised blood oranges with anise
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus overnight chilling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 8 blood oranges, or 5 large oranges, peel and pith removed with a sharp knife
  • 50 g pistachio nuts, shelled
  • 1 sprigs mint, leaves removed and chopped

For the caramel

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp Pernod
  • Freshly squeezed juice and finely pared zest of 2 blood oranges, or 1 large orange, plus a splash of water

Method

1. Slice the oranges thinly and place in a shallow serving bowl.

2. Put the pistachio nuts in a small frying pan and cook over a high heat until lightly toasted, stirring frequently (3-5 minutes).

3. Tip onto a board and leave to cool before chopping roughly. Set aside.

4. For the caramel: put the sugar and the water in a medium to large saucepan over a medium heat. Swirl around so that the sugar dissolves, but do not stir - this is really important. Let the syrup start bubbling and slowly it will become a golden caramel colour (10-15 minutes). It will soon start turning a dark brown colour. You need to wait until this caramel is right on the edge of turning black - so that the bitter caramel flavour offsets the sweetness of the sugar, giving a glorious, complex flavour (5-10 minutes).

5. You can tell when the caramel is about to start burning as the syrup begins to smoke and turn really dark. At this point, remove from the heat and very carefully add the Pernod and orange juice stand well back because it will sputter furiously.

6. Swirl around quickly, which will stop the caramel cooking, taking care not to get splashed as the caramel bubbles up. Swirl around again and pour over the orange slices.

7. Chill for a minimum of 40 minutes, but preferably overnight. Sprinkle with pistachio nuts and chopped fresh mint just before serving.

Chefs tip: this dessert would be delicious with a glass of oloroso sherry.

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