The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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Citrus Brulee with Honey Cardamom Yogurt


I have a hunch that there are some magical blues-obliterating qualities to citrus. Have you noticed how much they lift a person’s spirits? I have. Consider this some terribly unprofessional research data: it seems that all of the best-loved images of mine on Instagram (my new favorite thing) are of citrus. Well, citrus and buffaloes, and chocolate. You people know what’s important in life. I think it means that we like to look at things that make us happy.


But really. We’re lucky to have this family of fruit in the middle of the dreariest part of winter, all those bright pinks and oranges and golds and yellows (and greens), all that intensely sweet-tart flavor. I can’t get enough of them.


I don’t remember growing up with broiled grapefruit. But I do remember those peculiar, serrated spoons that one used when eating grapefruit. Eating these, I wouldn’t have minded a toothy spoon in hand. But a fork and knife will do.


They’re part fancy brunch side, part healthy dessert, and entirely delicious. The honey-sweetened yogurt is the perfect foil for a grapefruit’s tarter qualities, calming and balancing its puckery flavor. Choose a variety of citrus for color and flavor and texture. Pairing a huge, handsomely-hued pomelo with two types of grapefruit worked perfectly. I’m almost certain that you’ll make someone’s day (even if just your own) in serving this.

inspired by Bon Appetit’s Grapefruit Brulee
Serves about 4 as a side

1 pomelo
1 or 2 medium grapefruits
3-4 tablespoons brown or raw sugar
6 ounces strained Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

First, prepare the yogurt. Melt the honey just a touch if firm. Blend the honey and cardamom with the yogurt. Set aside until ready to serve.

Slice your pomelo and grapefruit across the length of the fruit in quarters horizontally. Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each with about 1/2-1 teaspoon of sugar, depending on the size of the fruit.

Using a kitchen torch, slowly and evenly caramelize the sugar until it bubbles and browns. Let cool for just a minute or so. The juices of the fruit may keep your sugar from developing a hard shell. Not to worry – it’ll still taste delicious!

If you don’t have a kitchen torch: Preheat your oven on its broiler setting. Follow the above instructions, but instead broil until the sugar has caramelized, about two-four minutes depending on your oven. Watch them closely so they don’t burn! Small kitchen torches are a pretty inexpensive tool, and while I’m not generally a fan of single-use gadgets, this one has been great to have around.

Serve with the yogurt sauce on the side. Best served immediately.


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