Blood oranges are in season. I love them because they are so, well, bloody. From the outside, they look like oranges, but when you peel them, they look like this:
They are sweet and tart. They don’t really taste like what you’d expect from an orange. Think grapefruit and orange, but not really. Blood oranges really are an experience and I am delighted when the new year rolls around so I can get them.
In collecting the blood oranges for this recipe, I got a few from Wolff’s Apple House and I bought a bag of them from Trader Joe’s. Note the difference in size. The big ones were grown in California and the small ones were grown in Florida. (Yes, I know, this recipe is not at all sustainable.)
Admittedly, I am a size queen, but when it came to taste and texture, the little ones were bloodier and had a lot more flavor.
This sorbet is a labor of love and, if you aren’t careful, your kitchen will look like you tried to kill someone. They don’t cal them blood oranges for nothing.
An ice cream maker
6 large blood oranges (2lb bag at Trader Joe’s is $2.29)
4 small blood oranges
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (don’t juice it)
2 1/4 cups of water
1/2 cup of turbinado sugar
6 mint leaves (optional)
1. Chill your ice cream maker overnight. It needs to be frozen through and through. Normally, I store mine in the freezer, but it’s winter, my freezer is tiny, and it got demoted.
2. Peel your blood oranges. (This is where is can get a little messy.)
3. Juice your blood oranges. This is where is gets really messy. To avoid having bits of blood orange all over the kitchen, drop them in the chute and quickly replace the plunger. This is a two hand job. Do not juice them without the plunger unless you want your kitchen to look like a crime scene. This should yield about 2 cups of juice. Squeeze in the lemon juice into the fresh juice.
4. Make the simple syrup by placing the water, the sugar, and the mint leaves in a small sauce pant and bringing it to a boil. Whisk while you go and make sure the sugar is dissolved.
5. Allow it to cool a bit and then add it to the waiting blood orange juice. Whisk them together then chill for at least 8 hours.
6. Once your mix has chilled and your ice cream maker is frozen, start preparing the sorbet according to the instructions.
7. Transfer from ice cream maker to air tight containers and freeze it for at least 4 hours before serving.
I don’t have a pretty finished product picture for you because I just finished step seven. It’s chilling in the freezer, but it’s delicious. I sampled it before freezing.