14 March, 2010

The blood rushed to my head.

I think this may be the last time I rhapsodize about citrus...this season. I went a bit mad at the organic co-op when I saw all the blood oranges: I greedily palmed all the carmine citrus I could. The languidly sweet Taroccos and the full-blooded Sanguinellos tumbled willy-nilly into my basket. Then at the farmer's market I went and did it again. Because here's the thing: this means we're that much closer...to patio season, here on the bright blue cusp of the Mediterannean.

Bring on the asparagus.

In the meantime, I made my butcher tut-tut over my exotic tastes when I described a blood orange marinade (with rum! and garlic! and rosemary!) I planned to use on pork loin. But my, oh, my. It resulted in a beautifully succulent, aromatic dish that provoked spontaneous sighs of delight, mon cher Jean-Louis. The ruby fruit also made a scintillating appearance in a Sicilian salad, paired with fennel, which, while highly refreshing, seemed a smidgen premature given the lingering snow outside. Kind of like that halter-top red sun-dress that can still only be worn indoors. With a woolen scarf.

Then it was on to blood orange curd. Yes, I did go there. So decadent and rich in just the pucker-worthy, complex dessert-y place your mouth needs to be every so often. I put the curd in a pie. Which I then covered with a heap of glowing sections of fruit. This was a resounding success, and I'm not too shy to cop to it. Took time to pull together (with a necessary addition of cornstarch). I'm not complaining, mind you: sometimes really good things take time.And sometimes they don't. Case in point, the recipe below, shown above. A ravishing way to be an adult and have your Jell-o too. A turn of the wrist, a few hours' wait, and you're there. (Original recipe courtesy Deborah Madison, via Gourmet magazine).

Gelée d'Orange Sanguine (Blood Orange Jelly with Whipped Cream au Grand Marnier)

Serves 4-6.

1 (1/4 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
2 cups strained fresh blood orange juice (from perhaps 10-12 oranges)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon orange flower water, optional

1 cup cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons Grand Marnier orange liqueur (taste to decide)

Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the water in a mixing bowl. Allow to time for water to be absorbed and gelatin to soften. Meanwhile, bring a half-cup cup of juice to a bubbly simmer, add sugar and a pinch of salt, then add to gelatin mixture. Stir until all sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved, then add remaining juice and orange flower water if desired. Pour into small custard cups and refrigerate for at least five hours.

Just before starting the meal, whip the cream in a cold bowl, adding sugar and Grand Marnier. Serve a generous spoonful alongside the unmolded jelly.


  1. That pie is gorgeous! I'm drooling.

    Things are staring to warm up a bit here in Florida, and my boy was just asking to make some jello again. We like to make our own from cranberry juice, but he might get a kick out of the blood oranges. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. that looks amazing! never thought to use blood oranges like that in the pie

  3. Have fun with the jelly, Rose, and let me know what he thinks!

    Thanks RC, the link to the pork marinade is also worth checking out, it's really amazing--and fast.

  4. Good job on the tart. At Whole Foods and Bristol farms, I buy blood orange sorbet by Ciao bella.
    It is delicious! Actually all the flavors (sorbets and ice cream) by that company are delicious.

  5. Ah, thank you, but Nadege, I'm not yet done with my bloody spree: if all goes well, next on the to-do list, D Leibovitz's blood orange upside-down cake, then blood orange panna cotta, perhaps blood orange pot de creme, and definitely, absolutely, without a doubt blood orange sorbet.

    Because it is happiness in a dish.

  6. All. So. Beautiful!!! These are just lovely! - mary the food librarian

  7. This will be such a treat for the eyes to check out the photos of your future projects. "The food librarian"'s blog is amazing! Leesa from "news from France" calls herself the "cupcake princess". I forwarded both your addresses.

  8. Thanks for all the kind words, Nadege and Mary the Food Librarian! Let me know if you try any of the recipes...

  9. Hi Tammy...

    I just got your blog from Nadege! I LOVE sanguines and have quite a few in the fridge now... I wanted to know that when you say an "envelope" of unflavoured gelatin... do you mean the envelope that contains the sheets of gelatin?? I have never seen powered gelatin here in France, so if you use powdered gelatin, can you please tell me where you find yours?

    Thanks so much and I LOVE your blog!!


  10. Hi Leesa,
    I'm working on the gigantic store of Knox gelatin I brought back years ago. Thankfully, no expiration date.

    BUT, I've since found this in the better-stocked supermarkets:

    Good news, right? Thanks for visiting, let me know whether you decide to do something sanguine or just eat them out of the hand...


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