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Atol de Naranja – Costa Rican Orange Pudding

Atol de Naranja / Costa Rican Orange Pudding

I have a confession to make, amongst the excitement of publishing my first digital magazine I have been nursing an injured left foot and lower left arm thanks to a small adventurous spirit and tried bouldering or free climbing for the first time. Something I wasn’t aware what I was getting myself in for when I arrived at that biscuit factory two weeks ago now, I left with my left side rather injured.

So with many cancelled and postponed plans I had another quiet weekend and actually managed to go down the hole of summer watching and managed to watch the entire season of ‘The Mindy Project’ while trying to rest my injured foot and arm as much as possible.

When not resting my hobbly foot and still bruised arm, I watched episode after episode of The Mindy Project and made this little something in the kitchen, hoping it would work as it was a recipe I had no image to go on nor had I ever seen the recipe before stumbling upon it last week.

Since stepping feet in the Central American country, I’ve spoken to many people about visiting Costa Rica, as it was a country that truly made an indelible connection with me. After I reluctantly left America and one of my closest friends behind, I felt a little jittery on my way to my first hotel as we drove through the streets of San Jose, thinking I’m officially on my own in a Central American country.

I was a little afraid, but soon all those fears would be needless.

Maybe it was the howling monkey howling at me to leave his area because a few steps down the wooded path were two females he was trying to attract. Or the tiny bats clinging to a log in a swollen river at the end of the wet season. Or the taxi driver who misunderstood my gestures and lack of Spanish to call the hotel I was staying at ahead for me.

The country covered in forests and sugar cane plants with green lizards that can be seen on the side of the narrow roads turned orange from the sun will have you falling in love and after you have fallen down that hole of love you will find volcanoes and waterfalls and anteaters too.

There have been many times I’ve thought during the planning phase of a new adventure whether I could fit this country in once more, or whether I could ever run away there for a little while.

Yet in the one-and-a-half years I’ve been doing this blog, I’ve only managed to make one successful recipe to share here. It was the very first recipe I made, I knew it was a precious meal that I wanted as many people to try as possible and somehow my research has not allowed me to share another one from that precious Central American gem until today.

And it’s an easy pudding anyone could make, whether you’ve been there, plan to go or have no interest. This simple recipe is sweet and tart. A great combination for a Central American gem just the same.

Orange Pudding/Atol de Naranja
Adapted from
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups orange juice (6 medium oranges juiced)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 orange rind, thinly sliced to serve
Dash of ground cinnamon to serve

Place the orange juice, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and place on high heat until boiling. Watch carefully once you can hear a simmer as this will thicken very fast. Stir constantly to ensure even consistency.


Remove from the heat and add in the tablespoon of butter, stirring until well combined.

Pour into serving dishes and refrigerate for an hour.

Place the orange rind on top, sprinkle a little of the cinnamon over.


Atol de Naranja / Costa Rican Orange Pudding



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  • March 5, 2016 - 18:12

    Katie - I am doing a Spanish project on Costa Rica and plan to make this dessert. I also have to share with my class the history/background, significance, and when this dessert is typically eaten. Do you happen to know any of this information that you could pass along?ReplyCancel

    • March 9, 2016 - 05:28

      Sylvie - Hi Katie
      Thanks so much for stopping by.
      After your question I’ve done a little googling and like most Costa Rican recipes I’ve researched, there isn’t a huge amount of information on the origins. Apologies I can’t help more as it seems even Wikipedia hasn’t helped. This is a delicious recipe though.
      Kind regards and hope your class enjoy this.ReplyCancel

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