2017-03-30 / From The Garden

Making a Blood Orange Sorbet

By Cynthia Gibson

Winter is hanging around as temperatures continue to fluctuate. If you want to spice up an end-of-winter dinner, start with a bag of California blood oranges that are sold by the dozen or eight to a bag at local supermarkets. But the season for these oranges is short, so don’t delay.

Anthocyanin gives the orange its blast of deep red, almost mahogany color. It is an antioxidant and is quite good for you. It is the same pigment that makes cherries red. Blood oranges taste different from regular oranges. They have a hint of berry flavor. The fruit is relatively new to the U.S., but it has been popular in Spain and Italy for years.

There are three varieties of blood orange. The first and most well known is the Moro, which is the reddest and hails from Italy. It can be slightly tart, but that also keeps it refreshing. The Tarocco, also from Italy, is the sweetest orange. It is pink, with streaks of red. The third blood orange is the Sanguinella, which is grown in Spain and Italy. Like the Tarocco, it is not yet grown commercially in the U.S.

Tease yourself with a delicious, exotic blood orange sorbet. You will need an ice-cream maker and a simple electric citrus juicer, which works more easily than a hand reamer.

I am growing a Moro blood orange tree in my dining room. I bought it through an exotic citrus catalogue, but local nurseries sell lemon and different varieties of orange trees that also make excellent sorbet.

Blood Orange Sorbet

Makes 1 quart
3½ cups fresh-squeezed Moro
blood oranges or two bags of
oranges (small-to-medium)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup

Pour the sugar and corn syrup into a bowl. Add just enough blood orange juice to mix and dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, add the remainder of the blood orange juice to the bowl and refrigerate for four hours to overnight, depending on when you want to make and serve it.

Place the frozen tub of the ice cream maker on top of the machine. Place the white plastic churn inside the tub. Put the lid in position and turn on the machine. Ladle the mixture of the blood orange juice and sugar into the frozen tub.

The entire process should take no longer than 40 minutes. You do not want a “hard ice” sorbet.

Scoop the sorbet into a glass freezer bowl with the lid. Place the bowl into the freezer for three hours before serving the sorbet. If any of it is left, it will be harder the following day, so give it a few minutes to soften before scooping.

Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer, and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport.

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