Orange and vanilla cream

Pistachio cardamom tart wth orange and vanilla cream

Pistachio cardamom tart wth orange and vanilla cream

I wrote about the pistachio cardamom tart I made last weekend but neglected to show you the orange and vanilla cream that I served it with.

Inspiration can come from the most unusual places. I was given an orange and vanilla scented moisturiser a couple of years ago. Ever since, I’ve been thinking about the vanilla and orange combination. One day I’d like to try a creamsicle, which is an ice block/ice popsicle of orange ice with a vanilla ice cream centre. It’s not dissimilar to a Splice which is available in Australia and New Zealand. True believers like the original Pine Lime flavour best, right? Creamsicle evokes Summer days, fairs, roller rinks, the beach and ferris wheels. In other words, an idyllic childhood.

Following through with the Middle Eastern combination of pistachio and cardamom, I flavoured some cream with vanilla seeds scraped from the pod, orange zest and orange blossom water. It tastes best if you let everything mingle and infuse for a bit. Served with a slice of the tart and some pomegranate seeds, it was the picture perfect end to a meal. So perfect in fact that the cream really overshadowed my beloved tart.

I used sour cream because that’s what I had on hand but some Greek-style thick plain yoghurt or creme fraiche is ideal. Even silken tofu could work (my feeder instincts mean I’m always thinking of ways to make things dairy-free). It’s the flavour combination that really elevates the cream, rather than the base. I aimed for a slight tang but some lightly whipped cream is another option.

Vanilla bean and orange zest flecks

Vanilla bean and orange zest flecks

It’s warm from the vanilla, floral from the orange blossom and fresh from the orange zest. From the overwhelmingly positive response, I may never need to create another dessert.

Feeds: 8 people
Start cooking: Ideally 30+ minutes before serving

Orange and vanilla cream

  • 200 grams x flavour base – yoghurt/sour cream/creme fraiche/silken tofu for the dairy-free
  • 1/2 x vanilla pod
  • 1 tablespoon x orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon x orange juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons x orange blossom water
  • 20 grams x caster sugar
  • 1 x fresh pomegranate to serve (optional)
  1. Place the flavour base, sugar, orange zest and orange juice into a bowl. Split open a vanilla pod and scrape half of the seeds into the cream mixture. Save the rest of the pod for something else.
  2. Stir through a single teaspoon of orange blossom flower water to the cream and then taste. If you want it more floral, stir through another 1/2 teaspoon and taste again. Be careful otherwise it’ll end up tasting like perfume!
  3. Let the mixture infuse for 30 minutes if possible but you can serve it right away. The orange and vanilla flavour will intensify on sitting.
  4. Optional – serve cream with fresh pomegranate seeds and a tiny squeeze of pomegranate juice which will add contrast and texture.
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