Sunday, April 24, 2005

IMBB 14: Orange

At the same time that I found out about the Sugar High Friday, I discovered the subject for the IMBB: Orange. After my disappointing attempt at the molasses themed SHF, I was determined to redeem myself somehow. I have to prove that I can make desserts outside of my own kitchen too, without the plethora of fancy kitchen tools at my beck and call. So it was decided that I shall make a dessert for this edition of the IMBB.

The host for this IMBB at Foodgoat says that orange does not necessarily mean orange, that the ingredient just has to be orange in color. Then she mentioned sweet potato. At the thoughts of sweet potatoes, my bleary jet-lagged eyes came to life. I love orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, but somehow in Tokyo the most common type is light yellow in color. They taste great, but I miss the color. Now that I am in the States, I have access to orange colored sweet potatoes. A perfect chance to make something with them!

A short search on the internet later, I hit the jackpot when I came upon a recipe for Sweet Potato Oranges : a variation of the sweet potato pie in that the pie shells are oranges!

· 6 oranges
· 3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
· 1 cup white sugar
· 1/4 cup orange juice
· 2 eggs, lightly beaten
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 cup butter, softened, divided
· 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
· 1 cup brown sugar
· 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
· 1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Prepare oranges by cutting tops off, 1/4 to 1/2 inch down. Spoon out the flesh, leaving a shell.
3. In a large bowl combine sweet potatoes, sugar, orange juice, eggs, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup butter and grated orange peel. Spoon mixture into orange shells. Place in a deep casserole dish.
4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, flour and pecans. Cook until sugar dissolves in melted butter. Spoon over oranges. Fill casserole dish with water to reach 1/2 inch in depth.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

I took a reviewer’s advice and instead of just cutting off the top of the oranges, I cut the oranges in half so it was easier to scoop out the flesh. I also wrapped the oranges in foil to preserve the flavor. Besides the messy process of getting the flesh out of the oranges with my bare hands, the rest was really easy, including mashing the sweet potatoes with a fork (See? No fancy tools!)

I have to say that this is by far the best sweet potato pie I’ve ever had. Sometimes a normal pie crust can feel heavy, especially after a fat laden dinner such as the Thanksgiving feast, of which the sweet potato pie is an integral part. From now on, I think I will serve these individual orange cups as dessert at my Thanksgiving dinner table. Oh, did I mention you could eat the orange cups too? The orange skin soaks up all the goodness that’s in the sweet potato and the pith adds the slightest hint of bitterness, which goes so well with all the flavors. Mmmm, I think I’m officially cleared of jetlags too. Three days, it’s a record! Must be the sweet potato oranges. Thanks, Ladygoat, for a wonderful IMBB!


Rachel said...

That looks so good to me in so many ways: those pecans (are they candied or something?), the pretty orange cups, the puffed filling. Mmm! So pretty.

Lynn said...

I'm glad you like it (or the look of it), Rach. The pecans are not candied, but next time I might do that. I hope I can find oranges big enough when I go back to Tokyo.

chronicler said...

What a great idea. The pecans, orange and sweet potatoes must be delicious! They look cute too!

Cathy said...

Ohh - these look fantastic! I assumed you wouldn't eat the crust, but that sounds interesting. The filling sounds amazing!

Nic said...

They look so tasty, Lynn. I never would have thought to use orange halves as shells. It's a great idea.

keiko said...

Lynn, I know I'm going to love this, is this decoration your original? It looks so pretty!

I hope you're having a great time...

Lynn said...

Chronicler, the orange cups are cute, aren't they? And they smell so nice.

Cathy and Nic, since I wrapped them in foil while baking, the skin basically stewed in its own juices. Tasted a bit like candied orange peel, but with sweet potato flavor as well.

Keiko, thanks! The leaves are actually from carrots ;oP

Jennifer said...

Those look really classy and neat, especially served up that way. One of the dishes I made was a cantaloupe sorbet and I only thought of using the rind *after* we'd eaten. I'm always looking for something a bit different for Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll give this a try this year.

Lynn said...

Jennifer, your sorbet looked so yummy! And I've always liked dishes where you can eat EVERYTHING on the plate ;op

sarah said...

hiya lynn... i am just cruising through all the entries for DMBLGiT, you know, to scope out the competition and all *wink*

they look adorable :)