Winter is the perfect time to make this elegant dessert using fresh citrus orange slices. A simple syrup is first made using fresh thyme leaves. Then a variety of colorful orange citrus slices are steeped in the syrup to infuse the flavors together. Thyme leaves and oranges complement each other in flavor, but you could also use fresh mint in place of the thyme.
I used several types of citrus oranges, including a new variety called 'raspberry orange' that is deep crimson in color. This tinted the syrup a beautiful soft raspberry color. The clementines bring a different texture, alongside the standard navel orange. Topping the chilled orange slices with a sweetened whipped cream is the final sweet touch for this simple dessert.
Chilled Oranges Slices with Thyme Syrup
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Working with a wide skillet about 3-inches deep, combine the wine, water, sugar and thyme leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, heating until the sugar dissolves in the liquid. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 5-7 minutes, slightly thickening the liquid. Turn off the heat.
Using a sharp knife, remove the peel and the white pith from each orange. Slice each orange crosswise into quarter-inch rounds. Add the oranges to the thyme syrup, gently moving them around to cover each round with the syrup. Steep the orange slices in the warm syrup for 5 minutes. Remove the orange slices to a large glass dish to cool. Chill or use while still warm.
Serve the chilled orange slices topped with fresh whipped cream. The warm orange slices are also delicious served over vanilla ice cream.
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