Orange Rooibos Pudding

I’m always on the lookout for easiest-ever dessert recipes. The kind that have very few ingredients and don’t take a lot of effort to whip up but still look and taste impressive. This is one of those recipes.

This genius pudding from Food52 consists of just three ingredients: half-and-half, sugar, and cornstarch. Then you can flavor it with any number of options, including tea. I chose to flavor mine with tea of course, specifically Blood Orange Rooibos from newcomer Joseph’s Tea.

What I love about rooibos is that it has the richness and depth of flavor of black tea but without the astringency or the caffeine. This orange rooibos from Joseph’s Tea is the perfect example of that. It’s smooth and inviting and it has the perfect amount of orange flavor—just enough to tease the senses but not overwhelm the palate.

Why this recipe works with tea: Because rooibos is an herbal tea, not made from actual tea leaves, you can steep it longer to extract more flavor without it becoming bitter like a black tea would. This is a huge benefit when you’re trying to infuse an ingredient with tea flavor so it stands out in a dish.

Because the orange flavor in the Joseph’s Tea rooibos is quite subtle I added a bit of orange peel to the cream-tea infusion for this pudding. I also topped the pudding with orange segments for added orange flavor and crushed spice cookies for a bit of texture. The overall effect is reminiscent of my favorite childhood ice cream treat, the Dreamsicle.

Happy cooking & sipping!

P.S. Thanks to Joseph’s Tea for sending me a sample of their Blood Orange Rooibos to play around with in my Tea Foodie kitchen.

Orange Rooibos Pudding

Adapted from Food52 by Suzanne Klein, Tea Foodie

Makes 4 servings


2 cups plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half

3 rooibos tea bags

2-inch piece of orange peel

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Optional toppings: orange segments, crushed spice cookies


1. Bring half-and-half to a simmer over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Remove from heat and add tea bags and orange peel. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and orange peel.

2. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a small bowl. Drizzle a splash of the steeped cream tea into the mixture and whisk into a smooth paste. Transfer paste into the saucepan with the rest of the steeped cream tea. Set over medium heat and whisk to incorporate paste. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a simmer; this can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes depending on your stovetop heat. Continue cooking at a simmer, stirring constantly, for another two minutes. Pudding should be relatively thick at this point but still pourable. It will set up and thicken more as it cools.

3. Remove from heat and pour into four serving bowls. Let rest on the counter until set, about 1 hour. Serve at room temperature, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.

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