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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Succulent Companions: blood oranges, granita and a sparkling sorbet

Two blood orange trees on the place- one bears frugally and is very sweet. The oranges above are from the second tree,Trocatta . This orange bears profusely  very tart oranges (why am I not surprised?)  Marmalade springs to mind, but I've got an unused sorbet maker, sounds easy to use--why not do that. (..."when will they ever ev-errrr learn....")
Find a recipe, juice the oranges, acquire 2 cups of juice. Then the fun begins .... It turns out the sorbet maker bowl has to be chilled in the freezer for 22 hours before it'll work. (Helps to read the directions, but oh well....)
Never mind, can't serve it at the dinner party as planned--give ' em coffee ice cream instead, no problem.

Granita---that's the thing to do with the blood orange juice:
. Combine 2 c. of juice with a pinch of salt, sugar, or honey, or corn syrup (if you are that decadent, don't tell .)  It's hard to be accurate about the amount of sweetener to use. Are you making this to "cleanse the palate" between courses, or to have as dessert? The first batch was "cleanse the palate". Really tart despite quite a lot of honey from the bees that lived in the wall and had to be re-located to a nearby organic farm---but that's another story.
 The granita was frozen, then beaten with an emulsifier beater twice. A little sparkling water added on the advice of friend Suzie, who is a fantastic cook.
 This batch was too tart for the taste of my focus group ( i.e. anyone who wandered into the kitchen)

Sorbet. Next day the sorbet maker was operational. Here's the recipe Focus group (below) all approved.
2 c. blood orange juice
sugar syrup to taste (organic sugar w water, melted in the microwave)
a pinch of salt
1 c. Asti Spumante sparkling wine
(more or less to taste)
Process according to your sorbet maker's directions.

Considered the last ingredient, the Asti, to be a brilliant stroke--it was sweet (too sweet to drink in my book, had a bottle languishing in the fridge) and was fizzy enough to make the sorbet light. It worked.                                        

Focus Group

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