Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Easy Blood Orange Recipes ~ Jam, Sorbet, and Smoothies

Is it Summer yet?
I had thought I missed out on blood orange season, when a little ramble through the Hermosa Beach Farmer's Market a couple weeks ago brought me to bags and bags of blood oranges at one of the stands.  Have I ever mentioned how lucky I feel to be in California where we can get almost every type of fruit or veggie we want year-round?  A place where farmer's markets stay open year-round?  I feel very blessed!  Granted, some of the blood oranges were not so pretty (and some were even a bit sour, unfortunately) but that didn't stop me from buying 2 bags of them.

Blood oranges are beauties, orange with a reddish-purple blush on the outside and deep purple flesh on this inside.  The best ones have a hint of blackberry, and are the sweetest type of orange I've ever tasted.

They are in-season in the Winter months, and as you'll see they are wonderful to use in all types of dishes and desserts, but I think they are best eaten in their simplest form.

For a simple, tasty jam, all you need is 4 cups of blood oranges (peeled), 4 cups of cane sugar, and 1 box-or 3 TBSP.-pectin.  Segment the oranges and coarsely chop.  Place in large, non-reactive pan with sugar, bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Let it reach a rolling boil, add the pectin, stir it thoroughly and continue to boil for 1-2 minutes.  Check the set (this can be done by dropping some of your mixture on a frozen plate - if it films or hardens then it's done) and when it's done, you can place in sterilized jars.  Place jars on the rack in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. This made 6 half-pints of gorgeous jam!
The color is so beautiful, this jam is perfect to use in showy desserts.
For the sorbet (pictured above), you will need:  4 lbs. blood oranges, 1-1/4 c. water, 3/4 c. sugar, and an ice cream maker.  Note:  Use your most beautiful and sweetest oranges for this recipe, that I found on  This will result in the best taste for your sorbet. 

Zest the peels of several of the oranges; enough for 1-1/2 Tbsp. of zest.  Peel the oranges, making an attempt to get as much of the pith off as you can.  Pick out the seeds.  Combine water, sugar, and zest in pan and bring to a boil.  This will create a syrup.  Add the syrup and orange segments to a food processor (I used an old-fashioned blender) and puree.  Measure out 2-1/3 cups of the puree, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.  Next day, pour puree in your icecream maker and follow the instructions from the manufacturer.  In about 5 minutes, you will have about 4 half pints (equivalent to about 10 scoops) of sorbet!  I stored them in Ball plastic containers in my freezer.
I used remaining puree for a smoothie - added 3 red chard leaves, fresh rosemary (crushed), and an apple...for added sweetness you could add apple juice but I wanted it to be healthier than that.  This made 24 oz. of smoothie.

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