A Light Bite

When Sausalito’s Emily Luchetti, pastry chef for both Waterbar and Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco, graduated from college, she took a cooking position while looking for a career. What she didn’t realize at the time was how close she came to finding her ultimate job. “After working on the culinary side for seven years, I switched to baking,” she says. “A half hour in the kitchen and I knew I was where I was supposed to be.” Why creamsicles? “People think there isn’t much seasonal produce in the winter, but there really is. When writing dessert menus in winter I want to make sure there is some color and brightness of flavor. Citrus does that. These sun-filled treats contrast with the weather and make us feel better.”

Blood Orange–Vanilla “Creamsicle”

Serves 6

For the blood orange sorbet (or use
2 3/4 cups blood orange juice, strained (about 12 blood oranges)
1 cup sugar
2 3/4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Large pinch of kosher salt

For the vanilla custard:
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise with seeds scraped out
2 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons plain gelatin
2 tablespoons water
3 blood oranges, peeled and segmented

To make the sorbet:
1 In a large bowl, combine the blood orange juice, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves. 2 Refrigerate for at least two hours or up to overnight. 3 Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 4 Freeze until the dessert can be scooped, about two hours, depending on your freezer.

To make the vanilla custard:
1 Combine the vanilla bean, seeds, cream, milk and sugar in a medium saucepan. 2 Heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. 3 Turn off the heat and cover the pan, letting the vanilla bean steep in the liquid for 10 minutes. 4 Stir together the gelatin and the water in a small bowl; let stand for five minutes. 5 Strain the cream mixture into a bowl, discarding the vanilla bean. Stir the gelatin mixture into the cream with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula. 6 Let the liquid cool to warm, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. (Stirring prevents the gelatin from sinking to the bottom of the hot liquid.) 7 Pour the vanilla custard into six ramekins. 8 Refrigerate until set, at least four hours. (Note: The creams may be made up to two days ahead. Once firm, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

To serve:
1 Unmold by dipping the bottom of the ramekins in a bowl of very hot water. 2 Run a knife around the inside edge of each cream and invert onto a plate. 3 Arrange the orange segments around the creams. 4 Place a scoop or quenelle of sorbet on top of the custard, and serve immediately.