First things first: This blood orange compote smells amazing! Second things second: It tastes amazing too! Ruby-red blood oranges are tossed with a honey sweetened syrup which is spiced with cinnamon and cloves and then spooned over a creamy, lemony mascarpone mousse. Is it time for dessert yet?
Blood oranges are one of the most dramatic and colorful winter fruits out there. One I love to buy during these cold and grey months of the year. Now that I have a few great recipes for them, I find I’m buying them more often, which is awesome since they are not only beautiful but also so very tasty. They have a deep, rich, and complex flavor which sets them apart from other oranges.
I personally taste hints of berries and vanilla, how about you?
So far I have a drink – my mellow sweet/tart Blood Orange Bourbon Smash, a salad – my healthy and colorful Winter Citrus Salad with Mixed Greens, and a tart – my easy Puff Pastry Blood Orange Galettes. And now I have a smashing compote!
I honestly can’t say enough good things about the flavor of the blood orange compote. It is amazingly good! I knew I was going to enjoy the mascarpone mousse, since I made it before in my recipe for Balsamic Strawberries, but the blood oranges were a new twist and sometimes recipes don’t work out.
This recipe worked out the first time and made every minute I spent cutting all the orange sections out of their membranes completely worth it.
There are times I do all sorts of tedious, picky work on a recipe, and think ‘really? is that it?’ when I taste it, but happily this was very much not one of those times. In fact it smelled so good that I couldn’t help eating some as I worked. 🙂
And then I took a photo of it! (below) So you can see the blood oranges, and the flecks of cinnamon, and the syrup all mixed up with the creamy mousse. Yum!
A few points about the recipe:
- A small, sharp knife is key for quickly cutting out the orange sections.
- I cut the oranges over a bowl to catch all the juice as I worked. You want to save the juice. It’s flavor! And then I squeezed out the discarded orange membranes as well. More flavor! (And I hated the idea of throwing out the bits of orange which were left behind.)
- You can go for all honey in the syrup if you want. I found the flavor too strong and it took away from the oranges.
- Don’t want to make the mascarpone mousse? The compote is still awesome without it! Put it in dessert cups and top with some whipped cream. Have it over pancakes or waffles. Serve it over ice cream. Or simply eat it with a spoon! It’s all good.
- Making an adult only dessert? Totally add some more orange liqueur to the cooled syrup. 🙂
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 4 medium blood oranges
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- dash of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 8 oz mascarpone
- 8 oz ricotta, whole milk or part skim
- 3 tbsp lemon curd
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 oz heavy cream
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
Slice the peels off the blood oranges. Then carefully slip the knife down the side of each section, right along the membranes. You want pieces of orange with no membranes on them. Transfer the orange slices to a bowl and pour the collected juice into a measuring cup. Then, take the discarded membranes of the oranges and squeeze them into the measuring cup. Once you have all the juice, add water to fill to the 3/4 cup measure.
In a medium pot or saucier, bring the juice and water, sugar, honey, orange liqueur, cinnamon, and cloves to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 9-10 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla. Let cool.
Once the syrup has cooled, add in the orange sections.
- Put mascarpone and ricotta in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer the mascarpone mixture to a bowl. Mix in the lemon curd and lemon juice.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream on medium until it's foamy, about 1 minute. Then add the powdered sugar, increase the speed to high, and continue beating until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until combined.
- Refrigerate the mascarpone mousse until needed. The mousse is best eaten within one day of making it.
- Cutting the orange sections out of the membranes is slow going but completely worth it in the final product. I'm moderately quick about it and it takes me 15-20 minutes to get through 4 oranges, but I love how the orange slices melt in my mouth when I'm eating the compote.
- In fact, even with the extra time, you will not go wrong by doubling the compote. It is that good.
- Feel free to make the compote on its own and have it over ice cream, pancakes, sponge cake or simply by itself.
- The compote keeps for up to two days in the fridge. Unless you eat it first.