Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 16th November 2012

Throughout the holiday season I always have a bowl of clementines on my kitchen island, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them. And it’s also the only citrus fruit my children both enjoy, hallelujah! Having said this, I’ve never thought to use them in a dessert until now. What I found most delightful about this Clementine Crème Caramel dessert was that the caramel and clementines played really well together. And the clementine juice brought a remarkable freshness to the custard.

A photo of a basket of clementines used in Clementine Custard.

I wanted to continue to celebrate the wonderful flavour of clementines so I decided to top the Crème Caramel with clementine slices, which I poached in sweet vanilla bean syrup with a touch of cinnamon spice.

A photo of three Clementine Crème Caramel desserts with one displayed on a green napkin lined white dessert dish with orange spoon.

I don’t think it comes as any surprise that I’m a huge fan of custard; it’s one of my favourite go to desserts. Pair it with fruit like I have here with Crème Caramel and I need to stop myself from hiding in a corner and enjoying every last dessert to myself. Chilled custard, warm fruit with a touch of caramel, what more could you ask for?

A photo of Baked Custard with Clementines dessert mise-en-place, clementines and zest displayed on a dark wooden board with microplane.

I also really enjoy poached fruit especially served warm with vanilla ice cream or topped simply with sweetened whipped cream. It’s the perfect dessert to serve when entertaining because it’s so easy to prepare. If you’re looking for a simple dessert to serve after a savoury winter meal I recommend ending with poached clementines, oranges or tangerines, the refreshing citrus note with a hint of spice is sure to please.

A photo of three Clementine Crème Caramel desserts displayed on a green cloth napkin lined slate board with orange spoons.

Another option for poached fruit, serve on a bed of sponge with a sticky syrup or crema inglese (crème anglaise or pouring custard). And an accompaniment of poached clementines served with duck would be amazing! When you take a moment to think about it there are so many ways to enjoy and flavour poached fruit. Poaching is the perfect way to bring out the natural sweetness of fruit.

A photo of a bowl full of clementines used for making Creme de Caramel with Clementines.

As soon as I spot clementines in the market it’s a gentle reminder that the Christmas season is on its way. I’ve promised myself that this year I would get into the stores much sooner than I have over the last few years. When the kids were younger I most always had all my shopping done by the first week in December to ensure I would be able to fulfill the kid’s wishes for the latest toy or game. Now that they’re older the urgency is no longer there and I find I procrastinate which only takes away all the joy of shopping.

A photo of Crème Caramel with Clementines dessert displayed on a green napkin with one clementine cut in half.

And worse, I don’t have time to enjoy the best things of the season, taking the kids out for the day, sipping hot apple cider and hunting down the perfect Christmas tree or spending the day decorating cookies, making meat pies or decorating the house.I’ve realized over the last few years although the kids are older they count on the traditions, picking up a tree from the local tree store isn’t the same. And all the fun of decorating the tree is lost when you’re rushed it merely becomes a chore.

A photo taken looking down on Creme de Caramel topped with Vanilla Bean Poached Clementines displayed on a white dessert dish with green striped napkin and orange spoons.

I think Matt’s (my son) asked me no less than three times in the last week if he should bring in the tree stand. I think it’s his way of telling me that he misses the joy of preparing for the season. Celebrating Liana’s 21st birthday brought me to the realization that time is slipping away, very quickly, and I may only have a few more years before they move away and start families of their own. I’m determined to bring back the true spirit of Christmas, spending quality time with my children, family and friends.

A photo of three Baked Custard with Caramel and Clementines dessert.

Taking a moment to notice all the stunning holiday window displays, stopping by to see Santa, making a big bowl of popcorn and settling in for the afternoon to watch Christmas movies, enjoying hot chocolate, listening to music and decorating the tree, stopping by a friend’s with freshly made cookies, enjoying a cup of coffee and slice of panettone with Mom, go ice skating in the park or be there for the lighting of the lights, attending Christmas Eve mass and most importantly, taking the time to give back!

A photo of two Crème Caramel with Clementines desserts in glass jars with orange spoons.

How will you be celebrating the 2012 holiday season?

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci al Cucchiaio, Dolci alla Frutta, Eggs, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Spoon Desserts

Comments (6)

6 Responses to “Clementine Crème Caramel with Vanilla Bean Poached Clementines”

  1. Ilan Says:

    That looks so delicious Grace!

  2. Grace Says:

    Thank you Ilan, really tasty too.

  3. Peter Stanford Says:

    Caramel and vanilla bean? YUMMMMMMM!!!!!!

    Peter & Joann

  4. Daniel Says:

    Great photos! Looks delicious!

  5. Annette Says:

    Nice photos and the custard looks so good. Such a nice mix of flavors.

  6. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Thank you so much Annette.

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