Spring is definitely making an appearance these days, and I am grateful. I get very impatient this time of year, when I know some of you are seeing bulbs make their debut and loading your winter clothes into storage. We’re not there yet, so it’s no wonder that after nearly five months of “winter,” I begin fantasizing about warmer climes.
That said- it is still blood orange season! Regular oranges don’t usually excite me when it comes to cooking. They can be too overpowering, at least for anything but good juice or a quick snack. But blood oranges are in a league of their own. Not only are they the perfect blend of acid, and sweetness, they hold sentimental value for me . . . memories of sipping blood orange juice for breakfast on a hotel balcony overlooking waving palm trees, a sandy Sardinian beach and the blue-green Mediterranean, the August sun blazing down early in the day and beautiful Italians on holiday, taking their ease. Any time we returned to Italy, there was always blood orange juice to greet us.
It was exactly two years ago that we first made this sorbet. Dear friends had come for a weekend visit to do what we do best together — cook and eat. After tossing around menu ideas for the evening, we decided on a seasonal theme, featuring a spectacular risotto with fennel, leek, and garlic. After several courses, a sorbet seemed like it would be the perfect end to a good meal. Enter the blood oranges. This sorbet is very simple, and maybe even better than eating the fruit itself.
With blood oranges still available (for about another month) it’s time to usher in warmer weather with a delicious sorbet!
Blood Orange Sorbet
by Stephanie Kunstle
Note: If you don’t have an ice cream/sorbet maker, you can make a granita! Just put the mixture in the freezer and stir with a fork every half hour or so for 3-4 hours or until frozen, and there you have it! Makes just under a quart.
- 1 ½ cups blood orange juice: about 6-8 blood oranges (I use the Moro variety)
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Pour water and sugar into small pot, and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and chill until cold- about 1 hour.
- Juice blood oranges, and run through a sieve to filter out any bits of seeds and pulp. Chill until cold.
- Combine chilled juiced and sugar syrup, stir in a small pinch of salt and freeze in your maker according to model’s instructions (usually takes 20 to 30 minutes).
- Scoop into an airtight container and freeze for 3 hours or more before serving.
- Garnish with a fresh slice of blood orange, and savor each and every bite!