This is a wonderfully refreshing summer punch, to be drunk chilled outdoors on a hot day, as an aperitif. Prepare it in a very large earthenware bowl and ladle into wine glasses. Warning, it doesn’t taste at all alcoholic!
I felt very virtuous doing this, because after squeezing my oranges for juice, I used the empty shells to make these little candied nibbles. The recipe I used suggested removing the peel in quarters, then using the oranges for something else, but I needed the juice so I did the opposite. After squeezing, I cut each half-shell in half again, and then used a small sharp knife to remove the remaining pulp/membrane, a bit like skinning fish; once you get the tip of the knife under the membrane, you can grip one end of the peel firmly, skin-side against the cutting board, and push the rest off with the knife quite easily.
Once made, these can be kept in an airtight tin. An elegant garnish for citrus or chocolate desserts; and for after-dinner treats you can dip them in melted chocolate and serve with coffee.
Having said all that, while not difficult it is time-consuming, and you can’t go very far away while they are cooking.
Nice little nibbles to have with drinks or as a very light starter, and very quick to make. You can use either filo or feuilles de brick for this. A large tray of them looks delightful, like a mass of flowers.
These really are an “amuse-gueule” — when you bite into the crisp caramel coating, the sweet tomato inside explodes with juice. We had the recipe from one of our favourite local restaurants, the Relais du Val d’Orbieu.