23 March 2010

Blood Oranges

Awhile back I came across a recipe for clementines preserved in honey. I've never had a clementine. I don't think I've ever even seen them in real life. I ripped out the recipe making a note to try it if I ever do come across the little orangey fruit. Another fruit I've never tried or even seen was the blood orange. Imagine my surprise when my local grocery store had a mountain of them just hanging out in the produce section.

I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to do with them when I bought them, but I knew that there were plenty of recipes out there for this interesting orange. Named for the dark red flesh hidden inside the mottled skin, blood oranges are a definitely an interesting fruit. For a week the oranges sat in my trifle bowl on my table with some lemons, limes, and kumquats. I don't know what reminded me of the honey preserved clementines, but I just knew it would be perfect for the blood oranges. How right was I! The trecipe even suggests using them as a variation (it also suggests meyer lemons which I'm hoping to get my hands on in a month or two).

My oranges still have a few more days before they can be eaten, but I'm already thinking about the many different ways I can enjoy them (and with a whole quart of them sitting in my fridge, there are plenty of ways for me to enjoy these sweet little citrus treats). The recipe suggests cutting them up and serving with yogurt or adding them to frosting for a cake. There are many other ways Fine Cooking suggests eating them, but I'm hoping to make a rustic tart with some soft whipped cream. Enjoy!

Honey-Preserved Blood Oranges
Recipe by Fine Cooking, adapted by me

1 cup honey
1 cup granulated sugar
5 whole cloves
2 green cardamom pods (I didn't use these since I didn't have any on hand, but next time I'll be using them)
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
1-1/2 lbs blood oranges, sliced into 3/4-inch-thick slices

  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 1 cup water and the honey, sugar, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon stick to a boil o ver high heat (be sure to really watch it during this stage as it will boil over fast; I almost started a fire in my apartment).
  2. Gently slip the blood orange slices into the liquid without stirring. If any pieces are mostly rind, place them rind side down. Return to a full boil and then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, keep covered, and set aside overnight, at least 8 and up to 12 hours.
  3. Spoon and gently pack the slices into a 1-quart canning jar. Bring the syrup in the saucepan back to a boil over medium-high heat; boil for 3 minutes to concentrate the flavors.
  4. Pour the syrup over the slices to cover; discard any excess syrup. Cool to room temperture. Seal and refrigerate for at least a week before using. The oranges should keep for up to 3 months. 


Tulsa Gentleman said...

I have never tasted a Clementine/Blood Orange. Susan says they taste like a tangerine. What do you do with the preserved fruit?

Sharon's Mum Anne said...

One is never too old to learn! Who'd have thought clementines and blood organges were unknown in Tulsa?

Sunshine said...

Bill - I'm gonna try to make a tart with mine, but it would be equally good chopped up and mixed into some greek yogurt or on top of some vanilla ice cream. You could probably put on top of bagel with some cream cheese.

Anne - They're not unheard of in Oklahoma, I'm just incredibly sheltered and picky. They're both things I probably would have turned my nose up at when I was a teenager thinking I didn't like them just because they were different. I'm converted now and will pretty much try anything once (except haggis; I just couldn't do it).