Was I the only one who didn’t know that winter is the season for blood oranges? It’s possible, given that I couldn’t really tell you anything about the seasonality of fruits and vegetables. But according to this excellent seasonal food chart from The Guardian (courtesy of Leon: Ingredients and Recipes by Allegra McEvedy), blood oranges are the fruit of winter. That may explain why two of the recipes I found — and made! — on Design*Sponge and Smitten Kitchen in the past couple of weeks were blood orange-based. Just look at all the recipes using blood oranges on TasteSpotting!
I think what blood oranges have going for them, other than being good, is their color. They are really beautiful fruits! I don’t know too much about them, but it does appear as if they can range from a light (as the ones I bought and used were) to a very dark blood red. This post on TasteFood shows just how different blood oranges can look from one to the next. As the post says,
“Native to Sicily, these orange gems have found their way around the world to eager consumers. In the US they grow from December to May, and now is the time to indulge in these citrus wonders. Tart and sweet with a hint of raspberry, their unique flavor complements sweet and savory dishes.”
“Tart and sweet with a hint of raspberry” — now, that’s a description. I think they are actually gem-like in color, too. As I mentioned above, I found two great-looking recipes using blood oranges the other week and decided to put them to good use. If I may say so myself, I think they both turned out pretty well (and both managed to be quite different from each other, despite the fruit they had in common).
The first blood orange recipe I tackled was a blood orange olive oil cake with blood orange honey compote, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. It was a fairly easy recipe, and one that I would highly recommend. The blood orange zest and the compote really add to what is a relatively simple cake. The only part I really had trouble with was when I had to supreme the oranges, and in my defense, I’d never done so before.
I then came across a recipe on Design*Sponge for almond yogurt cake with a blood orange curd and whipped cream filling, courtesy of Rachel Manley. (In addition to being a great website for all things design, Design*Sponge posts great recipes from various contributors. I’ve tried a couple and have plans to try a few more soon enough.) Let me tell you: Sifting powdered sugar on a cake is fun (and messy)!
Now, I’m off to bake muffins! (In case you’re wondering what we’re doing with all these treats, I have been trying to give away the muffins and biscotti I’ve been making. Pieces of cake are harder to give away, but I just keep repeating to myself that “practice makes perfect.” Right?)
The title of this post comes from Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “Winter-Time,” which can be found here. All photos taken by Taking of Toast.