Have you noticed that blood oranges are in season? Their sweet but tangy, not-quite-like-regular-orange taste is an alluring change from that of “regular” oranges. And subbed for navel oranges in one of my favorite no-bake fruit desserts they provide a delightful, new taste – blood oranges in simple syrup.
I’ve experimented with blood oranges before, using them in vinaigrette dressing, and substituting them for navels in fennel and orange salad. This time, I used them to adapt one of my favorite quick fruit desserts, oranges-in-simple-syrup. The result is both exotic and delicious. I began with the same basic recipe – oranges soaked in simple syrup with very finely sliced candied peel.
If you’re in a hurry, skip the peel and just make a simple syrup, which takes less than 10 minutes. The recipe is no-bake, so all it takes if you don’t make the candied peel is the time it takes you to peel and cut oranges and make the simple syrup. Then it sits on the counter while you eat dinner, waiting patiently for its turn at center stage at dessert time.
The fist time I blogged about the oranges-in-simple-syrup recipe, I used a combination of navels and clementines. This time, I substituted four small blood oranges for the clementines and used a bit of blood orange rind, along with the rind of one of the navel oranges. The result is beautiful, with the blood and navel oranges providing a color contrast that doesn’t happen with all navels or a mix of navels and clementines.
The syrup is a bit less sweet than if the oranges are all navels or navels and clementines. I like that change,, especially because I am serving it with chocolate-walnut tartlets, my riff on the gorgeous chocolate walnut cookies that my pal Susan Bradley posted earlier this week.
This blood oranges in simple syrup dessert was going to be a surprise for my pal Rachel, who loves both chocolate and oranges-in-simple-syrup. Oh well, I’ve never been good at keeping secrets, especially when they involve dessert. Happy Friday!
What’s your favorite way to use blood oranges?