Blood Orange Sorbet

Blood Oranges, A Juice HistoryIn the 1980’s, a Mrs. Smith who lived in California was especially proud of her Valencia oranges, but one day upon inspecting the fruit on the tree, she found that the coloring of the orange was blushed with orange and red and the juice was almost a blood red. Suspecting her neighbors of injecting poison or blood into her oranges, she contacted the police who were totally baffled. The fruit was sent to the University of California at Riverside where they came to the conclusion that her fruit had recapitulated or mutated back to the birth of the blood orange in China. Other stories will say that the blood orange was brought to America by Italian immigrants in the 1930’s.According to David Karp, the “Fruit Detective” who writes for a publication called the Fruit Gardener, most oranges have one of two of the genes that create red pigment. Blood oranges have both and it is anthocyanin gene that is responsible for the red coloring. Anthcyanin is reputed to be a strong antioxidant.The Italians praise the Tarocco variety and look down upon the Moro, grown in California and is the darker of the two. The Tarocco, the Moro and the Sanquinello, native to Spain are all available in the US almost year round.Blood orange juice can be used as any other orange juice and dishes made with blood oranges are especially popular around Valentine’s Day. My blood orange sorbet garnished with strips of orange peel can be served on any occasion and would be especially refreshing after a heavy meal. It is also my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging event hosted by Anna of Morsels and Musings.For further reading: Wikipedia, NPR:The Juicy History of Blood Oranges and Feelin’Foodie:David Karp-Fruit DetectiveAlso, a previous post on blood oranges is here.Blood Orange SorbetAdapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce WeinsteinIngredients2/3 cup sugar1 cup water8 large blood orangesJuice of 1 limePlace the sugar and water in a small saucepan and set over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.Cut oranges in half and with a electric or hand juicer, remove juice from oranges. Place in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and drain off juice, pressing lightly to remove juice. Discard pulp. You should have about 2 cups juice. Combine the juice, cooled sugar syrup and lime juice. Refrigerate until cold.Freeze mixture in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Sorbet will be soft, but ready to eat. For a firmer sorbet, tranfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least two hours. If frozen overnight, place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour to soften.Serves 4


  1. Anna
    March 8, 2007 / 4:48 am

    wow! this has a spectacular colour. you’ve really managed to capture the vermillion of the blood oranges. looks so refreshing too.

  2. Brilynn
    March 9, 2007 / 12:57 am

    That’s a beautiful colour!

  3. scotbrit
    March 9, 2007 / 2:33 pm

    That looks good enough to eat. I love the contrast of the sorbet and the rind. Good job!

  4. Susan
    March 10, 2007 / 1:25 pm

    What a coincidence. Yesterday at Borders, I just looked up recipes for blood orange sorbet because I have some ripe juicy ones I wanted to use! Yours is just beautiful! Oh, I loved the story too! You wonder what type of neighbors that woman had to make her her think her oranges were injected with poison!

  5. Helene
    March 12, 2007 / 6:08 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I love doing sorbets. So just a new one. :))

  6. Kalyn
    March 12, 2007 / 11:45 pm

    Just beautiful. I don’t think I’ve seen blood oranges.

  7. Lynnylu
    March 14, 2007 / 1:28 am

    Thanks, Anna for hosting and for your comments. Also, thanks, brilynn,scotbrit, susan, helene and kalyn for your comments.

  8. Mae
    May 6, 2007 / 1:15 am

    Congratulations on winning ‘Best Use of Colours’ on DMBLGIT!Bloog Orange Sorbet sounds [and look] amazing! 🙂

  9. Lynnylu
    May 6, 2007 / 11:18 am

    Thanks, Mae. Congratulations to you on your Edibility award.

  10. Ales
    May 7, 2007 / 8:38 am

    Thank you Lynnylu! congrats to you too, your sorbet looks fantastic : )

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