I had jotted down “something with blood oranges” on my blog to do list at the beginning of winter. It’s important to appreciate winter at least a little bit, living in Canada, and the availability of blood oranges (even if they come from really far away), definitely helps with that. Valentine’s day is not a real holiday as far as I’m concerned, but I guess I kind of appreciate the coincidence of it lining up with the tail end of blood orange season. When I knew that something pretty and pink coming down the pipeline, I sort of saved it for the “occasion” I refuse to recognize, hoping that maybe someone will be inspired to treat their loved one to some delicious blood orange pudding.
The mission of coming up with a blood orange dessert that captured the wonderful acidity and tropical flavour started out with a craving for blood orange curd tarts. There are a lot of recipes for citrus curd, but none of them gave the results I was looking for. I found that reducing the juice totally changed the flavour, as did thickening it with egg yolks or corn starch. I tried raw juice with arrowroot starch, but the consistency was horribly slimy. Dozens of blood oranges and a few more failed recipes later, I finally found myself on the right path. Chia seeds are really interesting – they have the magical power of turning liquid into something in between pudding and jello. Although I couldn’t get a chia pudding to stand in for curd in a tart, I loved it on its own, topped with fruit and a sprinkle of coconut sugar. My recent obsession with anything cashew led to experimenting with a blood orange cashew milk as a base for the pudding. Fresh raw cashews are perfect for getting a creamy pudding without challenging the orange flavour. Hope you like it :)
- 2 cups of blood orange juice (from about 4 oranges)
- 1/2 cup cashew pieces soaked overnight
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
- blood orange segments, pomegranate seeds, and coconut sugar for garnish
- Drain the cashews and start processing in a food processor.
- Slowly add a few tablespoons of the orange juice to form a thick cashew paste.
- Process for about 30 seconds to get it as smooth as possible.
- Slowly add the rest of the oranges juice.
- Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag and strain to separate any remaining cashew solids. The result should be a creamy pink blood orange flavoured cashew milk.
- Add the chia seeds, stir well, and refrigerate.
- Stir the mixture again after a few hours, then leave for at least eight hours, or best overnight.
- Serve chilled, topped with fresh blood orange segments, pom seeds, and a sprinkle of coconut sugar.