SHF #43: Chilled (Lavender-scented) Oranges in Rum-Caramel Syrup

I came down with a bit of a cold a couple of days ago, so having something citrussy that was also rich in Vitamin C, was a good excuse as any to make a dessert!

This recipe for a simple way to glam up orange slices, is so easy that I’m almost embarrassed to be talking about it. The details come from Alice Medrich’s latest book, but I have also used a similar technique in the past to bathe oranges and whole peeled mandarins in caramel syrup, as a garnish for other desserts.

The simplest way to serve these orange slices once they are chilled, would be on their own, perhaps in a fancy glass. Or paired with a small scoop of ice-cream or a dollop of thick, luscious yogurt, if you want to take it a step further.

To venture into special-occasion territory, you can even use the chilled orange slices as a companion to a creamy, wobbly pannacotta or as a garnish for a dessert like the one pictured below. The juicy orange bits, flavoured with lavender buds, add a burst of flavour in the mouth, when paired with an orange cardamom ice-cream rolled in a thin cocoa-walnut sponge. The roll of sponge is, in turn, coated in cocoa powder and it’s sides covered with crunchy nougatine.

These refreshing, syruppy, perfumey, caramelly oranges are my contribution to SHF #43, hosted by Tartlette.

Chilled Oranges in Rum Caramel Syrup :
(serves 8; from Pure Desserts by Alice Medrich)

8 good eating oranges, preferably organic or unsprayed
1/4 to 1/2 cup dark rum
1 cup sugar
[I also added 2 teaspoons of lavender buds to the macerating orange slices]

Zest 2 of the oranges, using a zester or Microplane to make fine shreds. Set aside.

Use a sharp knife to remove the skin and all of the white membrane from all of the oranges. Cut the oranges crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Remove any seeds. Arrange in a shallow serving dish, drizzel the rum over the oranges, and sprinkle with the zests. Set aside.

Make the caramel in a dry pan by heating gently until the sugar begins to melt into a clear syrup. Continue cooking the syrup evenly until it starts to darken. When this caramel is a reddish amber colour, or the colour of medium-dark honey, immediately pour it over the orange slices. The oranges may be prepared at this point and kept, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days. If you serve the oranges after a brief chilling, some of the caramel will have hardened into a thin brittle layer on top of the oranges, providing a pleasing crunch. Lengthier chilling will melt the caramel completely, bathing the oranges in sweet rummy caramel syrup without a crunchy layer. The choice is yours.


  1. Lorrraine E said,

    May 21, 2008 @ 10:16 am

    That looks great-and I’m not even one that really likes oranges. This could change my mind 🙂

  2. Bakerette said,

    May 21, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

    This looks utterly delicious and so simple!

  3. Aran said,

    May 21, 2008 @ 7:49 pm

    simple but tasty and refreshing!

  4. Lisa said,

    May 22, 2008 @ 2:41 pm

    I was eyeing off this recipe in ‘Pure Dessert’ for SHF this month too! You beat me to it 🙂 I will have to try it one day though, it looks delicious.

  5. Y said,

    May 22, 2008 @ 3:14 pm

    It’s a great book, isn’t it. No reason why you can’t make it for SHF as well. The more the merrier, I say, and besides, caramel syrup makes the world go round 🙂

  6. Sophie said,

    May 23, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

    Lavender and oranges smell heavenly on their own, I imagine this makes for a wonderful, natural potpourri…that I’d loove to eat! 🙂 I love how elegant you’ve made this healthy dessert.

  7. Eva said,

    May 25, 2008 @ 2:08 am

    Hey, you’re one busy blogger these days – I have to catch up on your posts! And on my SHF-entry as well, I hope I’ll make it in time… Yours looks great – and so sophisticated with the sponge roll!

  8. Tartelette said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 2:41 am

    Simple and pure flavor desserts are so refreshing and good for the soul! GReat entry, thank you for participating!

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