Grapefruit Blossom Pot de Creme is delicately infused with the essence of spring — if you can’t get citrus blossoms, try lilac,  jasmine, honeysuckle, or elderberry.

Elegant Grapefruit Blossom Pot de Creme dessert

Spring is around the corner…in fact here in Los Angeles it’s already arrived…trees all over town are blooming and the air is heavy with their incredible fragrance.  When you walk outside at night it hits you like a ton of bricks.  Spring blossoms have to be aromatic — they carry the future of their species on their little backs.  If they don’t do a good job of attracting the bees, the trees won’t get pollinated.  The period is brief, but in high season the scent of spring blossoms can be transcendent.  I tried to capture that essence in these pot de cremes.   You can take the general concept and run with it in a variety of ways depending on what you find blooming around you this spring.

Grapefruit Blossom Pot de Creme

In our backyard there is a huge grapefruit tree, and for most of the year it produces more grapefruits that we can handle.  Right now it’s covered in blossoms and the aroma is intoxicating.  Knowing that orange blossom is a common flavoring in Middle Eastern dishes, I wanted to experiment to see if the grapefruit blossom would translate into something delicious as well.

Grapefruit blossoms

If you want to extract the flavor from the blossoms you can do it in several ways, all of them simple.  In this case I warmed the cream that I was going to use to make the pot de creme, and added the clean blossoms right to it.  I let it steep overnight, and then strained it.  I would do the same if I wanted to make ice cream.  For a cocktail I would infuse the blossoms in water to make a simple syrup.  For a cookie or cake, I would let the blossoms hang out in some sugar to permeate it with their flavor, and then use the sugar to bake with.  These same principles holds true for using all kinds of edible blossoms in cooking.  If you don’t have access to a citrus tree, there are lots of other edible spring blossoms , but for this recipe you are looking for particularly aromatic blossoms:

  • jasmine
  • honeysuckle
  • apple
  • crab apple
  • lilac
  • elderberry
  • lavender

Grapefruit Blossom infused sugar

Cooking with flowers encourages you to broaden your palate and also makes you aware of how important aromas are to the enjoyment of food.  When I take a spoonful of this pot de creme I savor it in my mouth and through my nose, and I find that floral flavors linger on the palate.   I guess it’s similar to how I’d enjoy a fine wine or Brandy.

Grapefruit Pot de Creme

I really like this way this Grapefruit Blossom Pot de Creme turned out…it’s super delicate, but that insane aroma that I am so bowled over by is definitely captured in this dessert.  It’s almost as if you have to taste and breath it in at the same time to fully appreciate it.  I added a little fresh grapefruit juice to the cream, but not too much because I didn’t want to overpower the fragrance of the blossoms.  I think this would be wonderful for a Mother’s Day or Easter brunch, you can make it the day before and serve in pretty little glasses.  Decorate with a few of the fresh petals and maybe a twist of grapefruit zest.

Grapefruit Blossom Pot de Creme

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • a big handful of grapefruit blossom petals
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed white grapefruit juice

Instructions

  1. Put the cream and the blossoms into a heavy bottomed sauce pan and stir to combine. Heat on medium stirring occasionally, until the mixture just comes to a simmer. Turn off heat and let it cool to room temperature. Cover, put in the refrigerator, and leave overnight, making sure that the flowers are immersed in the cream.
  2. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve. Measure out 1 1/2 cups. (You'll have a bit leftover)
  3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a saucepan. Add the strained cream (1 1/2 cups) and the grapefruit juice.
  4. Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until the mixture just comes to a slight simmer and thickens. Don't boil.
  5. Pour the thickened mixture into small glasses or cups, you should have four servings.
  6. Refrigerate until fully chilled, or overnight.
  7. Garnish with a blossom or a twist of grapefruit zest if you like.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/grapefruit-blossom-pot-de-creme/

notes:

  • Choose only blossoms that you know to be edible and pesticide free.  Remove the stamens if you are prone to allergies and just use the petals.  Lots of flowers are edible, for a comprehensive list, click HERE.
  • The flavor of this dessert is mild and aromatic, don’t expect a strong grapefruit taste.
  • Resist the urge to use grated grapefruit zest in the cream mixture, it’s bitter.
  • You’ll have a bit of leftover cream which you can whip for a topping if you like.

 

Grapefruit Blossom Pot de Creme is an elegant dessert infused with the essence of spring

 

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GRAPEFRUIT BLOSSOM POT DE CREME is a delicately flavored dessert infused with the essence of spring

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Grapefruit Blossom Pot de Creme is an elegant dessert infused with the essence of spring!

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24 Responses to Grapefruit Blossom Pot de Creme

  1. Cathy says:

    This looks so wonderful, and I have smelled citrus blossoms, having grown up in Florida. Now in the Caribbean they grow there also. We only have a lime tree at present and my husband has worked so hard to get it to bloom and bear. Hopefully, it will improve and I can use some of those blossoms, or better yet, buy a new grapefruit tree or multi citrus tree.

  2. Nyna says:

    I don’t have a grapefruit or lemon tree, but I do have an edible lavender plant. Would you still use the grapefruit juice, or do you have other some suggestions?

    • Sue says:

      That’s a great question, Nyna. I wouldn’t use the grapefruit juice, you could just go with cream. I might add a little vanilla to enhance the lavender if that appeals to you. let me know how it turns out, I’d love to know.

  3. Susan says:

    Lucky you to be living in the land of fresh citrus! While we were on vacation there last month we enjoyed fresh grapefruit and oranges almost every day. The trees around the golf course were loaded with lemons too. Sigh. What beautiful and refreshing custards these must be and the blossoms are just beautiful.

  4. What an intriguing idea! Unfortunately, I have no idea what a grapefruit blossom smells like, since I live in a part of the world where they don’t grow. (It’s still snowing in Chicago.) I did do something along these lines this winter, though: I infused a simple syrup with cuttings from my Christmas tree and made cocktails with it. I wish I could taste your pot de creme, though. It looks fantastic.

    • Sue says:

      I love the scent of pine, Jeff, I did a tea with my cuttings! You could try this with lilac or honeysuckle if you have that blooming around you this spring :)

  5. I just LOVE how pretty these are and I bet they are absolutly delicious.

  6. Sue, you’ve done it, you’ve captured spring in tiny dishes! I’ve always been a sucker for citrus blossoms, so your gorgeous photos had me sighing. Fabulous!

  7. Oh my goodness, Sue, what a gorgeous dish! I was reading so intently that I didn’t realize by the time I got to the end of the post my mouth was hanging open, lol. The beautiful photos and your lovely description had me glued to the screen.
    You are so damn creative!

  8. Lucky you to have a grapefruit tree right in your backyard! What a delicious idea for a pots de creme recipe Sue! Just beautiful!

  9. Heather says:

    Very pretty! And looks delicious too! I’m in Ontario, Canada, so no blossoms right now but will keep this in mind and improvise (no grapefruit blossoms – ever) when Spring comes. That would make a gorgeous little treat for a wedding or baby shower brunch. Thanks!

  10. Just gorgeous, Sue! What a beautiful dessert to welcome spring!

  11. This looks positively stunning Sue. I love how descriptive you are with the aromas of the flowers and how you savor the taste and scent through your nose as you take a taste. So pretty and delicate looking.

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Vicki, it’s really hard to describe the flavor/aroma of the blossoms unless you’ve smelled them yourself. I guess that’s what I find especially interesting about recipes like this that feature a new experience. There really aren’t words to describe it :)

  12. cheri says:

    Hi Sue, we have a big pink grapefruit tree in our front yard, always looking for recipes. This is indeed a keeper, how smart to steep the blossoms. Beautiful, beautiful!

  13. I never knew grapefruit had such gorgeous blossoms – and you have your own tree! I guess that is a big benefit of living in southern California – citrus is happy there. This is a beautiful and creative treat – and your photos are wonderful. Does the flavor have a citrus punch?

  14. It’s like we live in opposite worlds. We got a foot of snow last night and today it’s only getting up to -14 C. And you have a grapefruit tree in your backyard that full of blossoms!! What a wonderful and absolutely beautiful dessert :)

  15. Lovely, so lovely!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen grapefruit blossoms. They are so beautiful and so is this amazing dessert! I’m going to have my eye out for blossoms now!

    • Sue says:

      Citrus blossoms have the most unbelievable scent, Chris — but in your area I bet you get some amazing blossoms, let me know what you find!

  16. Wow. Great pictures, terrific recipe. Love the idea of using blossoms in pot de creme — haven’t had that before. But I will, I will. :-)

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