I know that ice cream isn’t exactly a mid-February staple. But here’s my thinking on this… blood oranges aren’t going to be around when we’re sweltering this summer, so if we want to get a taste of this wonderful stuff, it’s got to be now or never. If you are as obsessed with blood oranges as I am right now, you’ll understand. It makes perfect sense to a blood orange crazed mind.
There’s something about the idea of a citrus ice cream that fascinates me. I love the play between the cold creaminess and the acidic citrus flavor — it’s very subtle, but I like how refreshing it is compared to traditional ice creams. I patterned this recipe after my oh so successful FRESH LEMON ICE CREAM. Although this one doesn’t have quite the tang of the lemon version, my secret ingredient is the juice of one lemon to heighten the very soft, floral note of the blood orange. I like that it doesn’t have too much of a bland Creamsicle vibe…but more of a fresh orange punch to it.
So far I haven’t been won over by the custard method for ice cream making, that’s where you have to cook the mixture before hand, then let it cool down, then get it real cold before you can put it in the ice cream machine. Supposedly this yields a creamier, richer ice cream. To me that seems like too much work. I like the ease and instant gratification of this method
If you have any leftover blood oranges try sectioning them and serving them with the ice cream. I even poured a little juice over it all and had a super treat.
- 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cold milk
- 1/2 cup sugar (I used Baker's, or superfine sugar, but regular sugar is ok)
- juice of 1 lemon
- juice of approximately 2 blood oranges
- dash of orange extract (optional)
- a drop or two of food coloring (optional)
- Stir together the cream, milk, and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Put the lemon juice into a measuring cup and add the blood orange juice until it measures 1/2 cup
- Add the juice to the cream mixture, along with the extract and food coloring, if using. I used a very small drop of yellow, orange, and pink to emphasize the color of mine.
- Pour into the chilled bowl of your ice cream machine and process according to the machine's directions.
- Spread the soft ice cream into a loaf sized pan and freeze for a couple of hours or longer, until firm.
Of course all the cream mellows out that tantalizing blood orange color. If you were to make sorbet you’d get a bigger color payoff, I may have to try that before the season’s out. And if you don’t have access to blood oranges, try this with tangerines. I’m working my way through all the citrus fruit, and I think I’m going to use grapefruit next. Doesn’t that sound good?
There are plenty of premium ice creams on the market that are really delicious, so for me, if I’m going to go to the trouble to make my own, I want to experience a flavor that I can’t find in the freezer case.
There aren’t too many other versions of blood orange ice cream out there, but Jennifer from Savory Simple has this one where she uses blood orange curd for an extra creamy base…and Gerry at Foodness Gracious has one that combines the blood orange juice with raspberries and Chambord. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some blood oranges…and get a few extra while you’re at it, I’ve got at least one or two more recipes coming for this incredible fruit before the month is out.