Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Blood Orange Sorbet
Blood Oranges, A Juice History
In the 1980's, a Mrs. Smith who lived in California was especially proud of her Valencia oranges, but one day upon inspecting the fruit on the tree, she found that the coloring of the orange was blushed with orange and red and the juice was almost a blood red. Suspecting her neighbors of injecting poison or blood into her oranges, she contacted the police who were totally baffled. The fruit was sent to the University of California at Riverside where they came to the conclusion that her fruit had recapitulated or mutated back to the birth of the blood orange in China. Other stories will say that the blood orange was brought to America by Italian immigrants in the 1930's.
According to David Karp, the "Fruit Detective" who writes for a publication called the Fruit Gardener, most oranges have one of two of the genes that create red pigment. Blood oranges have both and it is anthocyanin gene that is responsible for the red coloring. Anthcyanin is reputed to be a strong antioxidant.The Italians praise the Tarocco variety and look down upon the Moro, grown in California and is the darker of the two. The Tarocco, the Moro and the Sanquinello, native to Spain are all available in the US almost year round.
Blood orange juice can be used as any other orange juice and dishes made with blood oranges are especially popular around Valentine's Day. My blood orange sorbet garnished with strips of orange peel can be served on any occasion and would be especially refreshing after a heavy meal. It is also my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging event hosted by Anna of Morsels and Musings.
For further reading: Wikipedia, NPR:The Juicy History of Blood Oranges and Feelin'Foodie:David Karp-Fruit Detective
Also, a previous post on blood oranges is here.
Blood Orange Sorbet
Adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 large blood oranges
Juice of 1 lime
Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and set over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Cut oranges in half and with a electric or hand juicer, remove juice from oranges. Place in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and drain off juice, pressing lightly to remove juice. Discard pulp. You should have about 2 cups juice. Combine the juice, cooled sugar syrup and lime juice. Refrigerate until cold.
Freeze mixture in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Sorbet will be soft, but ready to eat. For a firmer sorbet, tranfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least two hours. If frozen overnight, place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour to soften.
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.