Oranges with Balsamic Caramel and St Agur

Description

Think of tangy citrus and creamy St Agur cheese. Brought together, an interesting chemistry happens: sharp and milky, the St Agur accentuates the sweetness of the zesty oranges, with the added subtle sour-liquorish twist of the anise seeds. Like a puzzle, orange sections alternate with rich slices of St Agur. As the finishing touch, the balsamic syrup unites all the elements, while the walnuts create a nice, crunchy texture that contrasts with the other soft ingredients of this fragrant dessert. Prep Time: 35 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes
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Ingredients

At a glance
Cheeses
Serves
6
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup Premium Balsamic Vinegar
6 large navel oranges
3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. anise seeds, divided
12 to 16 oz. seedless red grapes
2 pkgs. (5.28 oz ea.) St Agur Cheese, sliced
Walnuts, hazelnuts or roasted chestnuts, optional

Methods/steps

1. In small heavy nonstick saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium high heat 2 minutes. Add vinegar and cook over medium heat until slightly syrupy, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

2. Peel oranges, being sure to remove all white pith. Working with one orange at a time, slice crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Reconstruct the orange with layers of St Agur (use a cookie cutter for nice, round slices), adding a 1/2 tablespoon sugar and a sprinkling of anis seeds between layers. Use a decorative skewer to secure the slices if necessary. Sprinkle the remaining anise seeds onto the outside. Chill for at least 15 and up to 30 minutes.

3. To serve, place orange in center of each dessert plate; surround with small clusters of grapes, St Agur and nuts. Drizzle oranges with syrup.

Additional Tips

TIP: The cheese will be easier to slice if placed in a freezer for 10 or 15 minutes.

Not a fan of anise? Substitute coarsely ground black pepper for an equally interesting and elegant flavor combination.

A high quality Balsamic Vinegar is of importance to the quality of the syrup.

Blood oranges or red naval oranges are being grown in the United States now, and are readily available in the winter. Their stunning color would be an attractive choice, although the fruit tends to be smaller.

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