Do you love orange-flavored sweet and creamy desserts? I have the perfect recipe for you. One that is a bit decadent but so easy to make. This Mandarin Orange Creme Caramel is a luscious orange-scented custard with a lick the spoon sweet and tangy caramel glaze that will delight all of you orange lovers.
Satsuma Mandarin Oranges are my favorite winter fruit. Luckily they are grown close to me and right now are in abundance at the local orchards and stores. I just love their vibrant color and the attached stems and leaves.
Have you ever eaten a dessert where you take a spoonful, put it in your mouth and then close your eyes to savor the luscious flavor? That is what happens with this citrus-inspired custard. And the best part is that this Mandarin Orange Creme Caramel recipe has only six ingredients and it is seriously easy to make.
If you love creamy citrusy desserts make sure to try this simple to make and oh so delicious Lemon Ginger Posset.
Satsuma Mandarin Oranges
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Not sure of the difference between an orange or a mandarin?
Here is a great description of the different types of oranges by S & J Mandarin Grove from New Castle, California.
- Oranges are second in size to grapefruit. This citrus fruit has a thick skin, is round in shape, and has a tart flavor.
- Mandarins are a type of orange and the overarching category that Tangerines, Clementines, and Satsumas fall into. They are generally smaller and sweeter than oranges, a little flatter in shape, and they have a thinner, looser skin that makes them easier to peel.
- Tangerines are a specific type of mandarin orange. They are a bright orange color, have slightly tougher skins, and their flavor is a little less sweet and a bit more tart.
- Clementines are the smallest type of mandarin orange. They are super sweet, seedless, and have red-orange skins that are smooth and shiny. The mandarins you see in grocery stores called Cuties and Sweeties are Clementines. They are easier to peel than tangerines, but not as easy to peel as Satsumas.
- Satsuma Mandarins are a specific type of mandarin orange, originating in Japan more than 700 years ago. They are a lighter orange, sweet, juicy, and seedless. They are also the easiest variety to peel. The most tender, easily damaged type of mandarin, Satsuma mandarin oranges are harder to find fresh in stores.
Not only are mandarins great for snacking on but I love to use them in my cooking and baking. Satsumas flavor is tangier and more intense than regular oranges and just perks up the flavors of your baked goods.
You can also make other flavors of Creme Caramel
- Vanilla Bean
- Earl Gray
- Spiced Orange
- Heavy cream
- Whole milk
How to make Mandarin Orange Creme Caramel
The first step is zesting and juicing the mandarins. The easiest way to zest any citrus fruit is with a citrus zester which gives you nice-sized pieces of the fruit. After zesting them, smash the peeled mandarines with a fork to release the juice.
The next step is to make the orange caramel. This is easy to do, just cook the sugar and the mandarin juice until it turns an amber color; then pour the caramel into a loaf pan.
The final step is to scald the cream, milk, a little of the juice, and the mandarin peel and slowly whisk it into the eggs and sugar. Pour this strained mixture over the orange-caramel and place in a water bath and bake for an hour, or until the custard is set.
After the custard has cooled turn out on a platter and watch the caramel drizzle over this silky-smooth dessert.
To serve, slice a large piece of the caramel creme then drizzle the golden caramel over the top. Then take your spoon and have a taste of this classic dessert.
Other great Mandarin Orange recipes from One Hot Oven
These Sweet Mandarin Orange Scones are a favorite or try this Easy Mandarin Orange Bundt Cake.
Need some orange inspiration for your kitchen?
Mandarin Orange Creme Caramel
- Zest three mandarins and set aside.
- Peel the zested mandarins and put in a bowl to juice. The best way to do this is to smash the mandarin with a fork to release the juice and then strain.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Making the Caramel
- In a small saucepan add ¾ cups of sugar and 6 tablespoons of the mandarin juice. Bring to a boil, swirling the pans to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture slow boil until it turns a dark amber. Do not stir. This can take approximately 5-8 minutes. The mixture will be reduced and thickened.
- Pour the caramel into a loaf pan and set aside.
Making the Custard
- In a medium saucepan, add the cream, milk, 3 tbls. of juice and the zest. Scald the mixture over medium heat.
- In a bowl add the eggs and remaining ½ cup of sugar and vanilla. Whisk together, then slowly pour the milk mixture into the eggs while whisking.
- Strain the milk mixture through a fine-mesh to remove strainer to remove any lumps to make the custard smooth and creamy, then pour it over the caramel.
- Set the loaf pan into a larger pan and pour hot water into the larger pan so it comes up halfway to the loaf pan. Set in oven and bake for 1 hour or until set. Remove from the water bath and let cool for 1 hour, then put in the refrigerator to chill for several hours.
- Run a knife around the edges of the pan and unmold by flipping the pan onto a serving plate.
- Keep this dessert in the refrigerator
Thick and Rich Caramel Creme
Do you know when the Mandarin season is? Check out this One Hot Oven blog post to learn about seasonal fruit.
Thank you for stopping by the One Hot Oven blog. Please leave a comment to say Hello or just let me know what you are baking these days, I always love hearing from fellow bakers. Have any questions or just want to chat about the recipe? My contact information is on my about page, and I’ll be happy to help.
From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.
Hi Jere, I totally love the look of this recipe, but I am very much a novice when it comes to cooking! I don't really understand how to "strain" the custard mixture. Is this through a cloth or just a fine strainer? Is the purpose to remove the zest completely? Hope you can help clarify. Thanks
You want to use a fine-mesh strainer which will strain any lumps or possible cooked egg bits.
The Food Hunter
What a delicious idea. thanks for sharing
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
This is elegant enough for company. The flavour profile is amazing. Such a great presentation too.
Wow, Jere, may I say that your website is just adorable? So many lovely recipes and I appreciated so much your smart "orange inspirational tips". I love citrus, so this creme caramel looks an interesting opportunity to test the different taste of different fruits such as the one you suggest. Thank you 🙂
Thanks for the kind comments. Citrus is the best for cooking and baking. I'm so fortunate to have such great varieties here in California.
This looks so amazing! I've never used mandarin oranges in baking! 🙂