I was looking for a simple, light, palate-cleansing finish to my lasagna dinner, so I had planned on making a lemon ice. When I got to the store, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had blood oranges and Meyer lemons, both something of a treat in this neck of the woods. And at semi-reasonable prices, no less! I’m not sure how long they’ll be around, but for those of you in the Midwest, I encourage you to get to the store and pick some up before they’re gone. I got mine a Trader Joe’s, but I saw them at Holiday Market as well, so I think they should be fairly easy to find. (Incidentally, the bowl pictured was a Royal Oak Flea Market find… cute, no?)
If you haven’t tried one, most of you have probably at least seen a blood orange at some point as a plate garnish at a fancy brunch place. The flavor is not all that different from that of other oranges; I would describe it as having a slight honey aroma; but the coloring gives them an obvious dramatic flair. After looking at the Wikipedia entry, I’m thinking mine were the Moro variety. Meyer lemons, a favorite of foodies everywhere, are sweeter and more fragrant than the Eureka lemons typically in stores. They have a very thin skin, and are wonderful in all sorts of lemon desserts. I have also seen them recommended for Moroccan preserved lemons, and am thinking I need to try this ASAP. But back to the sorbet…
This is an incredibly simple dessert, even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, and is a great finish to a heavy or rich meal. A nice addition would be a tuile or thin butter cookie to stick on the side. The only downside to the recipe is that blood oranges don’t yield an incredible amount of juice… I used a whole bag (8 oranges) and only got a little over 1 cup of juice. However, you could always combine some “regular” orange juice in to supplement things.
Blood Orange Sorbet
3 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice, or a combination of freshly squeezed orange and blood orange juices
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs blood orange zest
optional: 1 blood orange, sliced into thin half moons, to garnish (I did use this garnish when I served it, but didn’t have any left over when the photo was taken)
Directions: Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Taste the mixture to check for balance of sweetness and acidity, adjusting if necessary by adding a pinch more sugar or a squeeze more lemon. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Alternately, pour into a shallow plastic container and place in freezer until nearly frozen. Break up in chunks and process in the blender until fluffy. Put back in the freezer and repeat process once. With either method, the sorbet will need about 1-2 hours in the freezer to set up after processing, so this is a good make-ahead dish.