Mmmmm… Blood Oranges! Do I really need to say more?
Probably. Because for some reason, I am not sure why, it took me until now to realize how awesome blood oranges are. Their intoxicating, fragrant aroma put me under their magical spell this winter. I always thought they were sour/bitter like grapefruit and just never tried them before.
However, as we were walking through the produce aisle in the grocery store earlier this year, suddenly a wonderful aroma filled my nose and I couldn’t quite place it. I looked around and realized the magical smell was coming from a large display of juicy blood oranges. I just HAD to pick up a bag. Something that smells so heavenly has to be good, right? If not I could always just mix them in with my smoothies.
At home I couldn’t wait to try them. I quickly sliced one up and to my surprise it was wonderfully sweet! A love relationship was born.
Since that one fateful day I am picking up a bag of blood oranges with our weekly groceries. And I will continue doing so as long as possible. I heard their season ends by May latest 🙁
Other than eating the freshly cut slices, I thought it would be fun to bake with this colorful citrus fruit. Magic custard cake has been on my to-bake list since it first started appearing on the food porn sites. When I came across a citrus version, I knew I had to adapt it with blood oranges.
In case you are unfamiliar with magic custard cake, it is made from just 1 batter but while baking it magically separates into 3 different layers (although only 2 were very pronounced in my cake). The top is a very light, airy cake layer, followed by denser, pudding-like, custard layers.
I baked one vanilla and one blood orange version, that’s why you see the loaf pan pictured. However, the recipe below is for an 8-inch square pan.
The blood orange juice in the batter gives the custard layer a slight bluish tint. If this bothers you, you could always add a few drops of red food coloring to the batter to make it look more like red blood orange juice.
- 4 eggs, separated
- pinch of salt or cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125 g (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled
- 115 g (3/4 cup) flour
- 420 ml (1½ cup) milk, lukewarm
- ½ cup blood orange juice (from about 3 oranges)
- 1 tablespoon blood orange zest
- blood orange slices for topping (from 2 oranges)
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease an 8-inch square pan and set aside.
- In clean, grease-free bowl beat the egg whites with salt or cream of tartar until stiff. Set aside.
- In another bowl beat the egg yolks with water, sugar and vanilla until light. Add melted butter and beat for another minute. Then mix in the flour.
- Add the lukewarm milk (cold milk will harden the butter), blood orange juice and zest and beat until incorporated.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in beaten egg whites.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, place blood orange slices on top and bake for another 30 minutes or until the top is golden.
- Cool for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.
Recipe adapted from Kitchen Nostalgia