How to make the most of blood orange season

The jewel of the citrus family, blood oranges are only available for a very short period of time each year. And that time is now!

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Blood oranges
Blood oranges.
Photo, Kristen Eppich.

Blood oranges are the jewel of the citrus family. They’re available for a very short period of time each year, and that time is now! Blood oranges taste similar to navel oranges, with a slightly more floral flavour. They tend to be a little less sweet and very smooth in flavour — with a hint of bitterness, which is part of their charm. Apart from their wonderful flavour, it’s the crimson interior that makes them so special. They have a vibrant pink-red hue that colours both the flesh and the juice of the orange. The exterior resembles a navel orange, but is slightly smaller, rougher and usually has a blush colour to it. Due to their limited availability, blood oranges can be quite pricey, averaging about $4/pound at a typical grocery store. To make sure you get the most out of your oranges, select ones that are firm, heavy for their size and have smoother skin. Blood oranges can be used any way you would use a regular orange. They are fantastic in salads and their bold colour adds a beautiful finish. They can also be used in jams, jellies, sauces, salsas — you name it, they can do it. And given the price, a glass of blood orange juice should be savoured, not gulped. Here I’ve adapted Chatelaine‘s ultimate waffle recipe to make some blood orange Belgian waffles. I’ve used the rind, the flesh and the juice to get the most flavour (and value!) out of the oranges. To give the waffles a little character, I scatter the batter over the waffle maker to create irregularly shaped waffles.

Blood orange waffles
Blood orange waffles recipe.
Photo, Kristen Eppich.

Ultimate Blood Orange Waffles
 Serves 4 Ingredients

  • 4 blood oranges
  • 1 tbsp grated blood orange rind
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sweetened Greek yogurt
  • 
maple syrup

Instructions

  • GRATE the zest of one or two oranges, enough to yield 1 tbsp zest. Set aside. Slice the peel off all of the oranges using a sharp knife. Cut the individual segments from the oranges over a bowl to catch the juice. Let the orange pieces marinate in their juice. Reserve.
  • PREHEAT waffle iron. Stir all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  • WHISK eggs, milk and orange zest in a medium bowl. Add flour to mixture while stirring, until almost combined.
  • STIR in melted butter until smooth. Be careful not to over-mix. Ladle mixture into waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • PLACE warm waffles on a plate. Top each with 1/4 cup yogurt and orange segments. Drizzle with blood orange juice and maple syrup.

Originally published January, 2014.