It’s orange time of year. Just when the body is at it’s lowest, mother nature responds with the season of vitamin C rich fruit. Granted they are not native to our shores, but at least the majority we import are European. The Seville oranges make such beautiful marmalade, but the blood oranges make beautiful ANYTHING.
The distinctive red flesh colour is due to the presence of anthocyanins (a family of antioxidant pigments not normally associated with citrus fruits. The flesh develops its characteristic maroon colour when the fruit develops with low temperatures during the night.
You can use them simply as a snack, or add the juice to a fancy cocktail. They are really good as an ice cream or sorbet ingredient too. And can be used where an orange is called for in any baking or cooking. But I feel unless you can show off their beautiful colour, just use ordinary oranges and save the blood oranges for the extraordinary occasion.
I’ve made a couple of things to showcase the most fabulous of citrus fruits. I feel slightly bad as I regularly turn to the humble lemon for a last minute dinner or dessert. But there’s no denying it, the blood orange has a certain je ne sais quoi.
First I made Richard Bertinet’s Blood Orange Tart from his deliciousy lickable book “Patisserie Maison“. I wasn’t entirely happy with the colour. But the flavour of the curd was like velvet. A real treat worthy of the effort involved with any tart.
And as I had leftover oranges (*smiles*) I decided to be even more adventurous and try some macaron. I filled them with both raspberry curd and blood orange buttercream.
And they were DIVINE- and that’s saying something as I’m not the biggest fan.