Candied citrus and custard

No matter that it’s a constant, I’m always a bit surprised when I think about winter as citrus season. Citrus fruits are so bright and cheery—nothing like chard and kale and cruciferous vegetables; and lemonade… what could say summer better than that? It’s a gift of winter, really, that lemons and oranges start to pile up at the market. And here, where winter is relatively warm, it’s nice to see their bright colors on the trees.

Just before we left Sardinia, we stopped at a bakery and I found this slice of (ever-so-lightly) candied orange, set so perfectly on a light and crispy bit of pastry tartlet with just a thin layer of creamy custard beneath it. The balance of bitter (from the rind and pith), sour (from the orange), and sweet (from the glaze and the cream) was incredible. It’s not often you find desserts that involve such bright and bitter notes alongside the sweet. It was so… Italian!

I would love to replicate this. Perhaps this weekend would be a good time to try David Lebovitz’s recipe for candied oranges? (And while I’m at it, that cake he pairs with them too.)

What are your plans for the weekend? Some incredible girlfriends are throwing a little party to celebrate me and the baby girl! Can’t wait!

P.S. Our Sardinian travelogue, and an annual trip along California’s mandarin trail.

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