This is such an effective and simple pudding, and a great way to finish a meal that might have bean on the rich or heavy side but watch out for the sharp if not dangerous shards of caramel once the top is smashed. When in season the winter blood orange makes a striking replacement, or if combined with any of the more common varieties a very pretty dish indeed.
Peel the rind with a potato peeler before finely slicing the skin into long narrow strands no wider than a matchstick. Take these pieces and with 1 tablespoon sugar, and covered with water, simmer them until completely soft. Pour away the water and keep the peel to one side.
With each orange slice off the bottom, sitting it iflat and stable on the board. From the top, using a sharp knife, cut away the rind and pith fully exposing the fruit underneath. Move all the way round the orange. Picking each one up in your hand, cut down the side of the skin which sits at the sides of each segment, releasing the fruit body in to a bowl. Work all the way round. The skins left in your hand, wring each one out, making sure you are keeping as much of the juice as you can. When all the oranges are done, mix in the peel.
Pour the sugar into the bottom of a saucepan, I would advise a non-stick one here. The pan must also be totally clean, as any pieces of unknown detritus will stop the sugar caramelising, leaving you with a large ball of crystallized sugar. Cover the sugar over with water, and bring it to a gentle boiling. After about 15-20 minutes, you will notice that the sugar is beginning to change colour. Some areas of the pan will seem to colour faster than others, so very gently swirl the sugar syrup in order to keep a universal colour throughout. I like my caramel to go quite dark, but without taking on the bitter burny taste that spells too far. The colouring stage of this process should be guarded very closely, as the slightest wavering of attention might necessitate starting again.
When the caramel is to your liking, in a thin stream, pour it about the oranges, where it will spit a little, settle and finally set hard. Leave the oranges to stand for at least 2 hours, letting some of the caramel melt into the orange juice, the rest remaining crisp on top. How simple can a pudding be?