Okay, I’m going to just put it out there – I’ve never been a big fan of fresh oranges. Don’t judge me! They just seem like there’s just too much effort to get to the orangey goodness. My parents have a nice navel orange tree, and they’re good oranges, just not great. My opinion is about to change though, now that I’ve been introduced to Heritage Reserve Navel Oranges. I received a box of exquisite oranges, and I can’t rave enough about them. I had a great time using them in several recipes calling for oranges, so it was difficult to decide which one to share. I settled on the Orange Cranberry Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce because, um, YUM!
Now my husband is another matter when it comes to oranges. He could easily eat several a day. One of his favorite things to do is to have a Large glass of fresh squeezed orange juice daily. These Heritage Reserve Navel Oranges are amazingly juicy, sweet and full of deliciousness.
I’ve learned that Heritage Reserve Navel Oranges are grown in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in a premier citrus-growing region of the California Central Valley. They’re produced in a narrow 25 mile long stretch just adjacent to Sequoia National Park. Maybe it’s the awesome Sierra Nevadas that make these oranges so amazing. These fragrant oranges are available from February through April and each orange is near perfect. They can rightly boast that all of their oranges are consistently juicy and full of flavor. What I like best about these oranges is they’re grown from trees ranging in age from 50 – 112 years old. To me, that’s a testament of the grower’s commitment to stewardship and sustainability of the land.
Nothing says “bring on Spring” better than some recipes using oranges – whether it be a main course, salad or dessert featuring oranges. I also know one of the reasons my husband is such a fan of fresh oranges is to ward off illness. The kids have come home with all kinds of cooties in this transition from winter (if you want to call what we had this year in California “Winter’) to Spring, but my husband has remained cootie free.
You’ve got to try this recipe for because it was a big winner at our house, and a fantastic way to use up those Heritage Reserve Oranges!
- 14 pieces Texas toast
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3 cups whole milk, divided
- 12 oz white baking chocolate, melted
- 5 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Zest of 3 medium Heritage Reserve oranges
- 3 egg yolks
- 1.5 Tbs vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 Tbs juice from Heritage Reserve Oranges
- Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish..
- Cut bread into bite-sized cubes and spread evenly in baking dish.
- Sprinkle cranberries evenly over bread.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir 1.5 cups milk and melted white chocolate until combined.
- Whisk eggs, remaining 1.5 cups milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest in a small bowl; add to melted chocolate mixture. Stir to combine.
- Pour mixture over bread.
- Allow bread to sit for 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes in a water bath. A knife inserted should come out clean when ready.
- Whisk egg yolks, vanilla, sugar, and cornstarch in medium bowl until fully combined and slightly foamy.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir milk and cream for 3 to 5 minutes, until barely bubbly.
- Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk, so as to not cook the eggs.
- Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thick and bubbly (approximately 2-3 minutes). Stir constantly.
- Remove sauce from heat and stir in orange juice.
- Serve sauce warm over bread pudding.