Sunday, March 14, 2010

Orange You Glad It’s Still Winter?
What’s cooking? Blood Orange Jelly with Brandied Whipped Cream

I know, it’s almost spring; but it’s still high season for citrus fruit, from the looks of things at my grocery store. Pink and white grapefruits, tangelos, clementines, navel and juice oranges, and a new favorite of mine, the Cara Cara navel oranges. Cara Caras are sweeter and less acidic than regular navel oranges, but the best thing about them is their color, which is a corally red. Not as dark as blood oranges – which I love – but blood oranges aren’t terribly juicy, and, holy cow, they’re so expensive it takes my breath away.

Talking about blood oranges reminds me of one of my favorite desserts: a blood orange gelatin dish. And a shining star in the low-fat, low-cal universe. For those of us who are still slogging away at the New Year’s Diet (yes, that would be me), it’s a handy alternative to my grandmother’s brownies, which I promise to give you one of these days.

It’s a recipe I found in an ancient issue of Gourmet. The magazine suggested that if you wanted to, you could substitute regular orange juice for half the blood orange juice. “No cheating for me,” I said to myself. Besides, I couldn’t imagine that you’d really need two dozen of those suckers to produce four cups of juice. When I got to the store and saw how much it was for those two dozen, I thought again, and decided I’d buy a dozen and get some ready made OJ for backup. Sure enough, I needed two cups of the regular stuff. But even then, the color was terrific; so I think I should try it with some Cara Cara oranges instead of the Minute Maid. What I don’t recommend is scrimping on the brandy in the whipped cream. Tres yummy, and so pretty.

Blood Orange Jelly with Brandied Whipped Cream (by Deborah Madison, in Gourmet, December 2000)

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 c water
4 c strained fresh blood orange juice (from about 2 dozen blood oranges), OR 2 c blood orange juice and 2 c strained regular orange juice
3 Tbl sugar

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a large bowl and let soften 1 minute.

Bring 1 cup juice just to a boil and add to gelatin mixture. Add sugar and a pinch of salt, stirring until sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Stir in remaining 3 cups juice. Pour mixture into a 1-quart glass or ceramic or stainless steel mold and chill, uncovered, until set, about 8 hours.

To unmold, dip mold into a bowl of hot water for just a few seconds. Shake mold from side to side, then invert onto a serving plate. Kitchen Goddess Tip: Since I have had mixed results getting any sort of molded dish to unmold, I prefer to gel the mixture in a crystal or cut glass bowl and serve it from there, with the brandied whipped cream in a bowl to the side. Serves 6.

Brandied Whipped Cream (makes about 4 cups)

2 c heavy cream
2 Tbl confectioners sugar, or to taste
2 Tbl brandy, or to taste

Beat cream with confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks. Fold in brandy.

No comments:

Post a Comment