Fresh, full of shine and life, and with the vivid crimson flesh, these exquisite blood oranges are the treasure we found this week; the first of this year. I find them too beautiful to eat.
Such are the sweet blessings of nature. The sight of this jeweled glossy fruit fills me with wonder. Every time I slice one up, I impatiently wait for the surprise inside, to find out how intense the hue is going to be and I adore the way it drips the pink sticky juice and stains my hands. It is one of those few instances where I actually love looking at a thing more than eating it.
The dark veil of the winter days are slowly lifting and giving away to longer days. The weather had been unbelievable this winter. The mockingbird has already started its round and already perching on our mail box; which means spring is not far away. I have been watching the mockingbirds for the past five years and every single year they start their routine of chirping around and resting on the mail box right before spring arrives and then continues through for the next few months. The joys of spring have certainly arrived here even if it is still a few weeks away officially.
These oranges have an unusual fruity flavor, which makes it perfect for enjoying them fresh, in drinks, desserts, salads and even in some savory dishes. This citrus variety is indeed the crowning glory in their family!
I haven’t much to write today, other than singing praises for the orange. Enjoy the blood oranges while I play outside in this stunning 70 F winter time!
The best way to love these oranges are to eat them fresh; and we did. Some were sweet and some were tart; we drizzled sugar or honey on the tart ones. Then I made a very simple dessert and layered each little cup with the fresh slices.
The mousse was simple; nothing but some whipped up cream and sugar with blood orange juice. You may add some gelatin for extra firmness, but it is not required. Some good cream well whipped to perfection is good enough. The ginger juice along with the zest adds a lovely flavor; spiced, warm, yet refreshing.
If you are really in to the Valentine’s day fever, consider this quick and uncomplicated dessert. It can be made a day ahead, and is an elegant addition to any meal in little individual serving.
Blood Orange – Ginger Mousse
Ingredients: (makes 4 individual servings)
- 250 ml heavy/double cream, chilled
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin + 1 tablespoon milk or cream
- 1/4 cup sugar (adjust to taste as it might depend on how sweet/tart the oranges are) + 3 tablespoon sugar
- 4 large blood oranges
- 3 teaspoon ginger juice (grate fresh ginger and squeeze out the juice) – more or less as you want
- zest of 4 blood oranges
- 1.5 tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)
- 3 tablespoon almond flakes or slivers
Zest and peel the oranges. Remove pulp of 2 orange and blend and process it, pulp and all. Strain out the fiber and the pulp (optional) and save the juice. In a pan combine 3 tablespoon sugar, ginger juice, and orange pulp/and or juice and simmer over low heat for about 5-7 minutes. Cool completely and chill. This can be done a day ahead.
Slice the other 2 oranges; these slices will be layered with the mousse. If the oranges are too tart, drizzle/sprinkle some agave nectar/sugar/honey/on it and allow it to sit.
Sprinkle gelatin over the tablespoon of milk/cream and let it soften/dissolve. Set aside
Make sure the cream is very chilled; if not try whipping the cream in a container over an ice bath. Whip cream and sugar until it forms peak. Gently fold in orange liqueur if you are using, chilled simmered juice of oranges, zest and the dissolved gelatin and most of the almonds (save some for garnish).
Layer serving bowls/cups with cream and slices of oranges. Chill until mousse sets, about 4-5 hours or until set.
Garnish with almond slivers if you wish. Serve chilled.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes approximately
Cooking Time: 10 minutes approx. + 5 hours of chilling time
Serves: 4 individual
Serving suggestion: As dessert served chilled