I'm a little bit ashamed, but I have to admit that while walking through the aisles of our local green grocer last weekend I was guilty of releasing an excited, childish squeal of delight. You might wonder what made me react in such a manner. Well, you see, what was just a normal Saturday afternoon grocery shop was transformed when I set eyes upon a table of plump blood oranges.
Blood oranges are notoriously hard to grow, requiring dry, hot summers and cold winters. According to Red Belly Citrus, a local producer of blood oranges with orchards in the Riverina region of New South Wales, they need to be grown in a location that will provide temperatures that are almost freezing at night and very high temperatures throughout the day.
They also have a relatively small season, running from August to October. This, combined with the limited number of producers in Australia, means that there's only a very small window to enjoy this extraordinarily, exotic-looking fruit.
So there I was, wide-eyed, frothing at the mouth, and yes, perhaps a bit crazed. What else was I to do, but grab an armful of that beautiful fruit? This then left me in a predicament - what to do with an armload of blood oranges? Blood orange juice is beautiful, but relatively short lived in this household. With the sunny weather we have been having of late, I decided that trying my hand at a blood orange sorbet was the only way to go.
It would be easy to play around with the recipe below. My thinking is that the alcohol makes it a little bit more grown up and a bit more 'gourmet' and instead of Campari you could substitute gin, vodka or even champagne. However, you could leave out the alcohol and the egg white completely, but if you do and you don't eat it straight away it will go rock hard in the freezer and much more difficult to serve. It's really up to your own personal taste.
Anyway, if you happen to experience the same luck as me the next time you're at your green grocer, or supermarket or farmer's market and find some blood oranges - grab them! Don't think twice, just do it. You won't regret it.