Thursday, 21 January 2010

Blood orange: theme and variations

Winter is when you get the best citrus in the UK. Sweet, easy to peel clementines and satsumas for Christmas stockings, lovely sour Seville oranges for the best tangy marmalade and blood oranges for, well, loads of things!

I love blood oranges. I get a weird thrill from seeing red and tasting orange. In the short time that they are in season it is definitely worth while grabbing a bag to play with. The skin is generally orange, although some have a flush to them, so it is worth looking for dishes where the colour of the flesh and juice really gets to sing.

With my bag of 6 organic and unwaxed blood oranges I made:

1. Buck's Fizz (known to the Americans as mimosas) - just blood orange juice topped up with sparkling wine. This would be perfect for brunch, but we had it in the late afternoon.

2. A warm salad, to accompany duck breasts. I segmented 2 of the blood oranges, reserving the juices. I roasted beetroot, peeling and cutting them into wedges while still hot and combining them with cubes of feta, the blood orange wedges and mint leaves. I mixed the reserved orange juice with finely diced shallot and a little sherry vinegar and microwaved it until hot and used it as a dressing for the salad.

3. I revisited this recipe for St Clement's Cream to make a tangy, fresh-tasting dessert. I didn't strain it, because I wanted to maximise the citrus flavour, so it wasn't a smooth, velvety cream, but the flavour was just gorgeous. The last time I made these St Clement's Creams I thought they were one of the best desserts I'd ever made, and this opinion hasn't changed!

4. I made little cakes and soaked them in blood orange syrup. I followed this recipe but I used the zest and juice of the whole orange instead of lemon, I used fresh goat's curd instead of yoghurt and I baked them in my friand tins. It made 11 little cakes. For the syrup, instead of using water, I used some whey that I had leftover from cheesemaking (more about that later). The flavour was wonderful, the texture was perfect, and they had very good keeping qualities - we ate the last of them 6 days after baking and they were still soft, moist and delicious, with a pretty soft pink colour from the juice.



22 comments:

HH said...

Fantastic post FC! I am going to have to get into blood oranges, I tried, but I left the ones I bought too long and they were off...it was a bit strange...next time though.

kat said...

Lots of good ideas there. I'm addicted to clementines right now myself

Foodycat said...

HH - oh no! That's a shame!

Kat - I had a taste of clementine sorbet the other night that was just out of this world!

A Year on the Grill said...

Terrific theme!!!

I gotta go find me some of those!

Sam said...

I love blood oranges, it's just a shame their season's so short.

I really like your orange salad, it's nice to have something a bit summery even though it's still cold and grey outside!

ARLENE said...

What wonderful food and drink you derived from your blood oranges (Buck's Fizz, I like the sound of that better than mimosas). I agree with you about the fun of eating something red that's orange. Great post, FC.

Chef Aimee said...

These are all "bloody" wonderful recipes! I love the Buck's Fizz - beter than ANY mimosa!

Dee said...

I only heard about Blood Oranges when I started blogging, and sulked that we couldn't get them in Malaysia. Then, one day I found a bag of super expensive BOs, bought them, hid the receipt and lied. They were such a disappointment! The oranges were picked unripe :(
Anyway, I have major orange envy.
And dinner envy - you've got some of my favourite foods in that salad :)
Also, thank you for that bit of trivia about Mimosas!

Esi said...

I have a couple sad looking blood oranges at home. May have to mix them with some proseco this weekend!!

Debinhawaii said...

We don't see them often here but I love blood oranges. Everything you made looks and sounds wonderful--especially that Buck's Fizz!

Foodycat said...

AYOTG - hope you find some!

Sam - Abel & Cole seems to have a pretty good supplier.

Arlene - I think mimosa sounds more sophisticated though.

Aimee - thanks!

Dee - oh no! That is a disappointment.

Esi - I think definitely.

Deb - it is a good Saturday Sipper!

Suelle said...

The St Clements Cream looks lovely.

A citrus tart, or even a Key Lime Pie recipe would be pretty made with blood oranges, especially if they were deeply red - so many fruit sold as blood oranges only have streaks of colour, I find.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I love blood oranges too, but it is hard to find them here.
What a great variety of treats you have made of them!

Foodycat said...

Suelle - I was thinking about a citrus pie, but it was only the two of us eating them so I thought something that kept well!

Natashya - they are very versatile! I love citrus.

grace said...

regular oranges? meh, i can take 'em or leave 'em. but blood oranges, watch out--they're so tasty! i love all the things you did with them, the cream in particular. simply luscious!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

I LOVE blood oranges but very rarely get the chance to eat them...this is making me want some so bad! Those little cakes look gorgeous. And blood orange Buck's fizz sounds amazing...could go for a jugful right now :)

Sook said...

Seriously, I started drooling as soon as I saw those delicious photos! :) Blood orange sounds sooooo good. I will have to get some.

Foodycat said...

Grace - you are right, I don't know how the flavour is different, but it is!

Laura - I could definitely handle a jugful too.

Sook - thank you!

I Poderi del Sole said...

Fantastic ideas and I just ordered a big box of organic oranges from Sicily.

Impromptu Diva said...

i had to google blood orange to know what it is all about... i thought they looked like grapefruit to me.
great ideas here fc, thanks for sharing!

Foodycat said...

I Poderi - oh you are lucky to have access to big boxes of them!

Impromptu Diva - these did have a thicker peel that most oranges, more like a grapefruit you are right. But they are the size of an orange and it is definitely an orange flavour.

Choclette said...

Oh what a lovely post - I so love the warm colours of the photographs. It's made me feel all nostalgic - not sure why exactly except I haven't come across blood oranges for years.

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