There isn’t much I can say about blood oranges that you don’t already know.
They have the prettiest flesh that makes the most gorgeous jewel-toned juice. Opening one up, especially one without the tell-tale blush on the rind, is like the best citrus surprise–all garnets and rubies.
Whenever winter citrus rolls out, I am most excited and eager to get my mitts on blood oranges. I love to just juice or eat them, plain and simple. When I do make something with them, my main goal is to keep that color–bright and unadulterated.
It didn’t take much thinking for me to land on sorbet, but the idea for the granita came to me after I saw this post on Not Without Salt (one of the prettiest blogs there is) while I was lying in bed battling a serious case of insomnia. Sometimes, ideas just swarm my brain when I can’t sleep–which is good for the blog, but bad for the sleeping. It’s a fine line, but sometimes delicious things happen when you toe it. The combination of the silky, soft sorbet with the creamy–yet crunchy/icy–granita is textural bliss. I’m already thinking of more sorbet/ice cream and granita combos…which may lead to more sleepless night, but ones that will totally be worth it.
Blood Orange Sorbet
I used my juicer to extract the juice, but you can certainly just squeeze or use a citrus reemer to obtain the liquid. You can also use a combination of citrus (cara cara (pink) oranges would be nice) if you don’t have enough blood oranges for 3 cups of juice.
3 cups fresh blood orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vodka (optional, this keeps the sorbet from freezing solid)
Mix some of the blood orange juice (1/4-1/2 cup) with the sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium until sugar dissolves and stir the syrup into the rest of the juice, stir in the vodka. Chill the mixture well (at least 4 hours, if not overnight) and churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape the mixture into a container, cover well, and freeze for a few hours until firm. Serve alone, with granita, or in glasses with some bubbly.
adapted from Not Without Salt
2 cups plain yogurt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded–pod saved for another use
In a medium bowl rub vanilla seeds into the sugar until fragrant and combined well. Stir in yogurt and mix until sugar is pretty much dissolved. Scrape the mixture into a shallow dish (an 8X8 baking pan is perfect for this) and freeze, scraping the mixture with a fork ever 30-60 minutes to break up the ice crystals. The larger the pan, the faster the granita will freeze and be ready.