This time of the year we’re trying to eat lighter, to counteract the rich foods we ate over the holidays. I saw this recipe on Tartelette’s blog, and bookmarked it right away, knowing that when the blood oranges came in, I’d want to make it.
This is a verrine of citrus fruits and pomegranate seeds in a jelly made from tea. Tartelette made this with white tea and pink grapefruit. It was (of course) gorgeous. I wanted to use a combination of blood oranges and regular oranges for this I also threw in a pink grapefruit, because I had it and because the blood oranges weren’t very red. Not red at all, in fact--just orange with some red specks.
I used a rooibus tea, flavored with bergamot (rooibus Earl Gray). Aside from the fact that I like this tea, it had the body to stand up to the blood oranges. Also I didn’t have any white tea. How can that happen? I have two drawers full of tea of every possible color--green, red, black, but no white. I guess that eliminates me from the tea-collector-of-the-month award. And I thought I was a shoe-in. Tsk.
I used less gelatin in my version, because I like a soft jelly. These were frankly wonderful. I really liked them, and I can see that they’ll become a summer favorite here. The only problem will be finding the blood oranges in the summer. However, we'll have peaches, and peaches can make up for a lot of things.
Tea Verrines with Citrus Fruits
Adapted from Tartelette
2 sheets gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 Tablespoons rooibus Earl Gray tea
6-8 sugar cubes
6 blood oranges
1 red grapefruit
Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
- Soak the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes.
- Add the tea to the boiling water and steep for about 5-7 minutes. Add sugar to taste. I didn’t want to make this sweet, but just to knock the little bitter, sharp edge off the taste.
- Squeeze the gelatin sheets to get rid of most of the water, and add them to the hot tea mixture. Stir to mix well. Leave to cool while you segment the fruit.
- Segment the fruit by cutting the top and bottom off, then slicing the peel off, taking with it a little bit of the fruit. Then, holding the dripping, peeled fruit over a bowl, cut carefully between the membranes to free each segment. Squeeze the remains to extract the juice. You won’t use the juice in this recipe, but it’s great with breakfast.
- Arrange the citrus and pomegranate seeds in 8 verrines, pour the cooled tea mixture carefully over them, and chill overnight.
Enough for 8
- I used sheet gelatin, because that’s what I have. I prefer it because there is never that scummy layer at the bottom if you don’t get it dissolved completely. After soaking in cold water for 10 minutes, these dissolve totally as soon as they hit hot liquid. If you only have the powdered kind, I think the conversion is 1 teaspoon powder for one sheet. Don’t hold me to that, but when I see other recipes, that seems right to me.
- To seed a pomegranate without ending up wearing the lovely color of the juice, cut the top off, score it along the sides, and do the rest in a large bowl under water. The seeds sink and the membranes (mostly) float, so it’s easy to separate them.
- The short, broad verrines I used for this hold a cup of liquid if you fill them right to the brim.
- If you don’t have a bazillion verrines sitting around your house (why don’t you?), this would also be pretty in wine glasses, or champagne flutes. If you still have some of the old-fashioned flat bowl style champagne glasses, they would be splendid, I think. Brandy snifters would be nice too. You could, of course, just use a bowl, but what fun would that be?