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Variation on Marcella's Macerated Oranges

bacchante | Mar 14, 200505:23 PM

Marcella Hazan has a recipe for macerated oranges in a couple of her books. I thought I would post about a variation on this that I made over the weekend.

Instead of regular oranges, I used rather small blood oranges, one per person, peeled and sliced about a quarter of an inch thick. It's easer to first cut it in half lengthwise so the flat edge can be laid on the cutting board.

I cut the amount of sugar way down to a bit shy of 1 tsp per orange (see my note below about this). For depth of flavor, I used turbinado sugar that I whirred up in my mini-blender. Sprinkled it over sliced oranges in a rimmed platter or shallow bowl.

Instead of macerating them in juice from more oranges and some lemon juice, I used the juice of a half a meyer lemon per orange. Before juicing the lemons, grated the zest onto the oranges.

I let them macerate overnight in the fridge and brought them out a few hours before serving. Tossed them a few times, particularly in the beginning.

Note: I did not do this because they were sweet enough, but I thought about sprinkling some crunchy turbinado sugar on top just prior to serving. Next time, I'll probably cut the initial sugar for macerating down to a half tsp per orange and do the crunchy addition at the end.

The color was beautiful, the sweet and slightly bitter flavor of the blood oranges was upfront, and the flavor and fragrance of the meyer lemons set it all off.

It was refreshing. To my taste, it was much preferable to a heavy, rich dessert. Although you could have it as an intermediate course between some rich courses and a regular dessert if you're into rich desserts, which I'm not.

If you're lucky enough to find both blood oranges and meyer lemons in a single shopping trip, give it a try.

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