This combination of sweet, floral, and bitter citrus is held together with just enough jellied juices and/or tea to make a sparkling jewel-toned loaf. Serve it with nothing for a lean and refreshing treat—or doll it up for dessert by adding a tiny smear of crème fraîche—the slightly nutty and cultured flavor is a perfect counterpoint of rich and creamy against the citrus—a sprinkle of chopped pistachios or walnuts and a teeny drizzle of honey.
(more or less) strong hibiscus tea, or pomegranate juice
3-4 inch cinnamon stick
envelopes (14 grams) plain gelatin
honey (such as orange blossom or wildflower), plus a little more for serving
orange flower water
pomegranate arils (from one medium pomegranate)
creme fraiche, for serving
(75 grams) lightly toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped, for serving
In This Recipe
Rinse out a 6-cup loaf pan with water (or spray it with oil) and line it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap into all of the corners, and leaving enough over-hang to cover the pan later.
Peel two wide strips of orange zest, each about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, from one of the oranges. Set the strips aside. Wrap the partially denuded orange in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for the garnish.
Supreme the two remaining oranges and the grapefruits and tangerines (https://food52.com/blog/12126-how-to-segment-citrus-like-a-pro), piling the segments into a large strainer set over a bowl as you work. To the juices collecting in the bowl, add juices from the cutting board, from squeezing the membranes, and from squeezing any pieces of peel with excess fruit left on them.
Measure the accumulated juices and add enough pomegranate juice or hibiscus tea, to measure 1 1/4 cups. (Let the fruit continue to drain in the strainer set over the empty bowl).
Pour the liquid into a small saucepan. Add the orange zest strips and cinnamon stick. Bring the juice to a simmer and simmer covered for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let the mixture steep for 5 minutes. Uncover and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the zest and cinnamon.
Sprinkle gelatin evenly over the liquid and let stand for 5 minutes. Put the pan back over low heat and warm the mixture gently, stirring, until the gelatin is dissolved and the liquid looks clear. Off heat, stir in the honey, orange flower water, and any additional juice than has drained from the fruit. (Replace the strainer with fruit over the bowl). Set the pan aside, stirring the mixture from time to time, until it has thickened to the consistency of heavy syrup. (You can speed this up in the fridge or in a bowl of ice water. If the mixture starts to set, warm it very gently for a few seconds over low heat to return it to a syrupy state).
When the syrup is almost ready, arrange one layer of citrus segments lengthwise—alternating colors and mingled with some of the pomegranate arils— in the bottom of the lined loaf pan. Pour about half of the syrupy mixture over the fruit and tilt, jiggle, and shake the pan so that the mixture flows between the fruit pieces. Arrange the remaining segments and arils to fill the pan and pour rest of the thickened juices over it. Adjust the fruit pieces by nudging them with a chopstick and shaking the pan to coax liquid into the crannies between pieces. Level the surface and cover the terrine with the overhanging plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, about 6 hours—and up to a couple of days before serving.
Uncover, invert, and unwrap the terrine on a platter. To serve, slice with a sharp knife. Serve slices with a spoonful—or a smear—of crème fraiche, a scatter of pistachios, and drizzle of honey. Garnish with curls or zest from the reserved orange removed with a 5-hole zester.
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).