This ambrosia was part of a wholefoods shoot we put together for Yen magazine, and is our absolute favourite shoot for Yen. It was a wintery shoot but we wanted everything to be bright and vibrant, both in the look of the food and the flavours themselves. Especially at this time of year, when winter seems to have been hanging over our heads, like a low cloud, since forever. It is so nice to utilize winter produce but step away from soups, stews and puddings. This shoot was all about lightness.
M.F.K Fisher writes eloquently about ambrosia and the perfect orange in An Alphabet for Gourmets, and although our recipe really only has oranges in common with Fisher’s, her thoughts on ambrosia were the genesis for the recipe. There is no booze, or coconut in our version and it’s so healthy it could be breakfast instead of desert. Well, maybe not the praline for breakfast. And don’t be scared of making the praline. It is a simple process, just take care pouring out the liquefied sugar. The cardamom gives a lovely fragrance and citrus are just so good at the moment. Everywhere I walk around our neighborhood there are trees heavy with lemons, oranges and mandarins. I love how the quality and taste of the orange is at the heart of this dessert. All it needs is the perfect orange, rid of its pith; it sits perfectly jeweled at the bottom of the bowl.
Orange Ambrosia w Cardamom Pistachio Praline
½ caster sugar
½ cup pistachio
½ teaspoon of cardamom seeds, ground in mortar and pestle
3 navel oranges, peeled, segmented removing as much pith as possible
200g Greek yoghurt
a drizzle of honey
Grease a tray well. In a heavy bottomed stainless steel pot, pour in sugar, then pistachios and cardamom. It’s very important not to stir the sugar. It’s okay to jostle the pot a little. The sugar should liquefy. When ready sugar will bubble and make a popping sound. Pour onto the prepared tray. Allow to cool. When hard chop candy roughly.
Layer the segmented orange over the yoghurt and sprinkle with praline and drizzle a little honey.