Sometimes in the middle of cold and dreary winter, you just need something bright and happy and just a little bit fancy to brighten your mornings. Winter citrus is bountiful right now, and broiled winter citrus is juuuust the little extra something you need.
Sweet honey and hazelnuts certainly don’t hurt either.
Brûlée-ing or broiling citrus is a great way to concentrate flavors and kick everything up a notch. I broiled blood oranges, navel oranges and grapefruit for these yogurt bowls, and the grapefruit by far benefitted the most from the extra sugar and caramelization from the oven.
Broiled citrus is easy enough to make for breakfast, but it also feels elegant and refined enough to make for dessert. Instead of yogurt, some mascarpone whipped cream like the kind I made with these Red Wine Poached Pears would be heavenly with the broiled fruit.
Making Broiled Citrus
Making broiled citrus really couldn’t be easier. It’s just a matter of cutting the fruit in half, adding a bit of sugar and using the broil setting on your oven.
I do have a couple of tricks though to ensure you get the best outcome every time.
Tips for Success:
- Cut a tiny bit of the ends of the oranges and grapefruit before you cut them in half so that they sit flat on your baking sheet
- Use a paring knife to cut the flesh away from the peel once the fruit is cut in half – just run your knife around the circumference of the exposed fruit
- Remove seeds before broiling! No one wants to bite down into a seed in their breakfast or dessert
- Use a variety of citrus – here I used grapefruit, blood oranges, and navel oranges. I would love to try cara cara oranges and meyer lemons next time too!
- Bigger fruit = more sugar. For the oranges I used about 1/2 tsp of sugar over the top but for the grapefruit I used closer to 1 tsp
Perfecting the Broil
Broiling can be a temperamental cooking method if you’re not used to the nuances of your oven. I found that placing the citrus on the top rack right away to broil resulted in tops that were too caramelized and insides that weren’t soft and mellow enough.
To combat this, I turned my oven on to broil and still let it preheat (because you want the oven to be hot in addition to the direct flame from broiling!).
Then I put the baking sheet with the fruit on the middle rack (protected from the broiling unit at the top of the oven) for 5 minutes.
And THEN I put the fruit on the top rack for 5-7 minutes to get the tops nice and caramelized while rotating the pan about halfway through.
Serving Broiled Citrus
I just can’t get over how pretty this fruit is when it’s broiled still in its skin forming a perfect little bowl, so I served these exactly as is out of the oven over top of creamy, plain Greek yogurt.
You could, however, cut the fruit out of the skin for easier fruit extraction. Totally your call. I opted for the pretty way, because I’m weird like that. If you do serve the broiled citrus still in their skins, just make sure everyone has a sharp knife for cutting out the fruit!
And finally for the toppings – get yourself some good honey and some chopped hazelnuts to garnish the whole thing. I happen to be obsessed with honeycomb right now – you get extra texture and concentrated sweetness that I just love. So if you have some stocked away in your pantry somewhere waiting for a special occasion, now is the time to pull it out.
Like I said earlier, I served this with greek yogurt and called it breakfast, but you could serve it with ice cream or whipped cream too and just as easily call it dessert.
Broiled Citrus with Honey & Hazelnuts
This sweet and simple breakfast of broiled citrus and creamy greek yogurt makes the best of what winter produce has to offer!
- 1 grapefruit cut in half
- 2 navel oranges cut in half
- 3 blood oranges cut in half
- 5 tsp sugar divided
- 12 oz greek yogurt plain, or vanilla depending on your preference
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 4 tbsp honey divided
Cut off the ends of the grapefruit, navel oranges, and blood oranges if necessary for them to sit flat on a baking sheet. Cut each in half.
Place the citrus flesh side up on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. The grapefruit halves should each get 1 tsp of sugar and the orange halves should each get 1/2 tsp of sugar
Preheat your oven to broil and add the baking sheet of oranges to the middle rack for 5 minutes
After 5 minutes place the baking sheet on the top rack and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes rotating the baking sheet halfway through. The tops should be caramelized
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. In the meantime separate the yogurt among 4 large bowls.
Top each bowl with a few of the broiled citrus halves, sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and drizzle with 1 tbsp of honey each