Today I was in Gourmet Garage in SoHo and spied a large citrus fruit with a green, stained, scaly skin and an appropriate name: an ugli fruit. Just $2.99 later and it was mine.
I’ve never had one of these before and didn’t really know what to do with it. But I thought that if I made a dessert that used it in a variety of ways, I’d discover how it tasted best.
So I peeled off its thick skin (which had made it feel hollow) and got to work on an ugli fruit syllabub. A syllabub is a boozy dessert made with whipped cream, wine, sugar and whatever fruit you fancy, so I thought it wouldn’t be too tough to create a recipe for the ugli fruit.
I poached several pieces with sugar and water, sliced a few others, squeezed the juice from a few more and grated off some scaly green rind. After whipping the juice together with sugar, cream, wine and the rind, I layered them up.
The ugli fruit is a mixture of a grapefruit, a tangerine and a lemon. The poaching made it more like a grapefruit, so I had to douse it in sugar before it was bearable, but Dylan didn’t seem to mind it without. The normal pieces were delicious, like a tart orange. But by far the best was the juice – sweet but sour and so refreshing. (The rind was manky though.)