Oriental Orange ‘Cream’

With no eggs or cream, this light fruity dessert is based on Portocal Peltesi, a Turkish recipe I tasted in Istanbul. You can make it with any fruit juice –lemon, tangerine, grape, pomegranate etc.  You can also use the fruit ‘cream’ as filling for a pre-baked tart shell. I like to serve it with cakes, as well as with Sweet Orange and Pistachio Couscous


 Photo by Anastasios Mentis from my ‘Mediterranean Hot and Spicy’



Serves 6


2 tablespoons orange zest


1 1/4 cups sugar, or more to taste


6 tablespoons cornstarch


1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice


1/3 cup sweet white wine, preferably Samos


6 slices dried orange (recipes follows), to decorate



In a bowl mix the zest with the sugar and let stand for 1-2 hours at room temperature, stirring every now and then.

Pour 1 cup water over the sugar, add the cornstarch and stir to dissolve it. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and cook stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Add orange juice and wine and continue stirring until the mixture thickens.

Pour in 6 individual glasses, let cool and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Top with the dried orange slices and serve.



Dried Orange Slices


With a special citrus knife, or a good serrated knife cut one or more oranges in half, and each half in very thin slices. Spread the slices on a baking dish lined with parchment paper and place in a very low oven (about (180º F). Let the slices dry for about 3-5 hours, depending on their thickness. Let cool, and store in a bag in the freezer.





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