Go Back
+ servings
Pink Grapefruit with Burnt Honey Custard
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Pink Grapefruit with Burnt Honey Custard

Broil your citrus in a flat quiche plate or in individual dessert dishes, both are stunning presentations of this simple, elegant and delicious dessert!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
marinating in caramel syrup2 hrs
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Keyword: grapefruit, creme brulee, vanilla custard, dessert
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 331kcal



  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup hot water
  • 6 pink grapefruit


  • 1 cup whole milk or dairy-free almond milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice Blend
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted chopped almonds or pistachios, optional
  • Pomegranate arils, optional


For the grapefruit:

  • In a saucepan, over low heat, mix the sugar and the 1/4 cup of water. Stir occasionally, until the sugar dissolves into a clear syrup. Over medium-high heat, cook the syrup until it turns a deep amber caramel. Every so often move the pan to swirl the sugar and distribute the heat, but do not stir. (see note)
  • Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining 1/2 cup water, keeping your hands and face at a distance. Return to the heat and cook the caramel and water a few minutes to dissolve any lumps. Transfer to a bowl.
  • With a sharp knife, slice 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of each grapefruit. With the grapefruit standing on its cut bottom, slice down the sides, following the fruit’s contour, completely removing the outside white pith as well as the peel. Hold the peeled fruit in your hand and remove the segments by cutting between the fruit and the membrane. Lift out each segment in one piece and drop into the caramel syrup. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours. The grapefruit sections can marinate in this caramel several days.

For the custard:

  • Put the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat almost to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the honey and the egg yolks. Whisk in the arrowroot and five-spice powder. Drizzle in the hot milk, a little at a time to temper the eggs, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  • Immediately transfer to a small clean bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap, directly touching the hot pastry cream, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate. The custard can be made ahead and kept, refrigerated, up to 3 days.

To serve:

  • Preheat the broiler with the rack about 4 inches below the burner. Strain the grapefruit sections from the caramel marinade. Arrange the sections in a single layer in one large flat oven-proof serving plate or in 6 individual gratin dishes. Pour the cream mixture over the oranges, dividing evenly if in separate servings. Place under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes, cooking until the top is golden brown.
  • Sprinkle the chopped nuts and/or pomegranate seeds, if using. Serve at once.


  • To prevent crystallization of the sugar, cover the pan with a stainless steel bowl; as the syrup cooks, water droplets will condense on the bottom of the bowl and wash down the sides of the pan.
  • Arrowroot flour aka arrowroot starch is a completely tasteless, gluten-free white powder, a nutritious alternative to cornstarch and can be used in place of cornstarch in recipes. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 3025IU | Vitamin C: 77mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 1mg