The blood orange is a member of the citrus family, it is both beautiful in color and delicious in flavor.
They are in season from December through May, though the exact months vary depending on what type of blood Orange you’re baking or cooking with.
The most common variety available in markets is the the Moro variety.
The Moro blood orange is the most colorful of the blood oranges, with a deep red flesh and a rind with a bright red blush.
The deep red flesh means the orange ranges in color from orange veined ruby coloration, to vermilion, to vivid crimson, to nearly black.
The flavor is stronger and the aroma is more intense than a normal orange. The fruit has a distinct, sweet flavor with a hint of raspberry.
Are Blood Oranges Naturally Red
Author Harold McGee explains in his book “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen” – that a blood orange owes the deep maroon color of their juice to anthocyanin pigments, which develop only when night temperatures are low, in the Mediterranean autumn and winter.”
What are anthocyanin pigments? The pigment is found naturally in a number of eatable plants.
These pigments are what produces the red, purple, and blue coloring of eatable plants, such as the blueberry, cherry, and strawberry among others.
The anthocyanin pigments will only develop when temperatures are low at night, as during the Mediterranean fall and winter.
In addition to acting an antioxidant, anthocyanins help fight free radicals, and are found to offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.
Nutritional Value of The Blood Orange
A fresh blood orange is a rich source of vitamins C (20% or greater of the Daily Value), a moderate source of folate (15% of the Daily Value) and dietary fiber.
The orange also has potassium, which is needed for healthy blood pressure and the absorption of zinc.
Interesting Facts About The Blood Orange
Within Europe, the arancia rossa di Sicilia, or the red orange of Sicily, has Protected Geographical Status.
According to The National Gardening Association, the flavor of blood oranges is essentially a cross between an orange and a raspberry.
Blood Orange Upside Down Cake
This recipe is baked in a 9-inch spring form pan. But we used four, 5-inch spring form pans. Using this size is up to you, but using them makes individual small sized cakes.
Cakes this size are great for serving at gathers, tea parties, and brunch.
• 2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup light brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• 4 medium-sized blood oranges
• 1 cup fine cornmeal, may sub almond flour
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 4 large eggs, at room temperature
• ⅓ cup sour cream
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a 9 inch round piece parchment paper into a 9-inch round spring form pan.
Note: If using the 5-inch spring forms – do the same and place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of pans.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the brown sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Scrape mixture into bottom of prepared pan (pans).
Grate 1/2 teaspoon zest from one of the oranges, then slice off the tops and bottoms of oranges.
Place oranges on a clean, flat surface, and slice away the rind and pith, top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit.
Slice each orange crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick wheels and discard any seeds.
Arrange orange wheels on top of brown sugar mixture in a single, tight layer.
In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, cream together remaining 2 sticks butter with granulated sugar. Beat in eggs, one a time, then beat in sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the dry mixture by hand.
Scrape batter into pan (pans) over oranges. Transfer to oven and bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then run a knife along pan’s edges to loosen it. Unlock side of pan and remove.
Next, invert cake onto a platter and cool completely before serving.
Originally, cookies had one purpose in the kitchen as bakers used them to test the oven by baking small amounts of cake batter before baking an entire cake.
Since then, these “small cakes” have evolved and now hundreds of recipes for cookies are available today – which includes the Sugar Cookie.
The Sugar Cookie made its debut in the 1700’s by German settlers to Pennsylvania (USA) and the cookies were an instant success.
Since that time, sugar cookies have become popular at Christmas and Halloween time and including Arbor Day and Groundhog Day in the U.S.
GROUNDHOG DAY COOKIES – Photo Credit: Fork and Beans
Sugar cookie dough is easy to work with (usually just 3 or 4 ingredients) as the dough holds its shape during the baking process. It is also a great cookie recipe to work with because it contains no baking soda.
Although they are frequently eaten straight from the oven, the sugar cookie can be frosted, sprinkled, and cut into any shape for added eating fun.
Though sugar cookies are about 2 to 3 round, you can also make them bite sized.
And that is what we did with this recipe, Coconut Pecan Sugar Cookies – sandwich style. They are topped with pecan bits and powdered sugar. And between the two cookies are shredded coconut, Heath bar bits and sweet milk.
MakingCoconutPecan Sugar Cookies
You will need:
1 (17 ½ oz.) sugar cookie mix 1 cup shredded coconut 1/4 cup Heath bar bites 1/2 cup pecan halves, finely chopped 1/3 cup butter, melted 1 egg 1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
In a large bowl add the cookie mix, butter and egg. Mix until dough thickens.
On a floured surface with a roller spread dough to ¼ inch thick.
Cut out cookies with a cookie mold – about 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
Place cookies on non-stick cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Next mix coconut and Heath bar bites with sweet milk and set aside.
Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool one minute on cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack until they cool completely.
To assemble the sandwiches smear 1 tsp. of coconut – sweet milk mix onto 12 cookies. On the other 12 cookies dab a little sweet milk, and then put cookies together forming a sandwich.
Top cookies with chopped pecan pieces and top that with powdered sugar. Store cookies in an air tight container.
Using an iron skillet is a great choice for baking as it has the ability to keep things hot on the entire surface of the skillet.
Whatever you decide to bake in the skillet, it will always bake evenly while developing a wonderful crust around the edges and bottom.
An iron skillet is an amazing piece of cook-ware your kitchen cannot do without.
There are five things you can bake in an iron skillet, such as cakes and pies, and everyone knows you can use it to bake up some cornbread.
Another great use for the iron skillet is roasted chicken.
An article in the New York Times by food writer Melissa Clark entitled, “A New Breed of Roast Chicken, Cast-Iron Seared,” states by heating an iron skillet in a 500 degree oven, then placing the bird in the pan so its thighs make contact with the surface, the dark meat will finish cooking at the same time as the white. This is because the thighs, which are instantly seared by the cast iron, get a jump-start on the breast, which is not seared and cooks more slowly, staying moist (view the video).
Baking a cake in a iron skillet is a fun way to play around with your everyday cake recipes, including those that are used to make cupcakes.
Our featured recipe is just that, a cupcake recipe turned into a Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut Cake.
National Pie Day is celebrated yearly on January 23, and has been sponsored since 1986 by the American Pie Council. National Pie Day was launched in the ’70s by a man who loved pie so much he wanted to celebrate, and he chose January 23 because that was his birthday the American Pie Council declares.
The United States is a country that is obsessed with food. Now that can be a good thing or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Today is another day of observing a food item. Yes today is – National Granola Bar Day.
A granola bar includes whole grains, like oats, and quinoa and barley are also used. There are also dried fruits and nuts. To sweeten the bar either honey, molasses, agave nectar or sugar syrup is used. There are a variety of combinations that can add flavor and nutrition.
Making granola bars is a simple task. You mix the ingredients which are then pressed into a baking pan, and later cut into bars.
Granola bars are a go to food, because of seen as a energy bar. The are conveniently carried on hiking trips or biking trails. The bars can be high, but despite that, they are a healthy alternative to a candy bar. Eating a granola bar as a snack is okay, as long as you are active so as to burn the calories.
Outside of the United States granola bars are known by several names, including flapjack, meusli bars and cereal bars.
Here’s our rendition of a all organic, gluten free, paleo approved Granola Bar, and the following is what you will need.
1 cup dried fruit, including cranberries, golden raisins, pineapple, apricots, cherries, papaya, and prunes (optional to use fresh fruit)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
Combine the oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, sesame seeds and almonds.
NOTE: If you chose to mix in another nut with the almonds, divide the nuts up into 1/2 cup servings, such as 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 1/2 cup of the nut of your choice.
Spread mixture out evenly over the baking sheet and toast for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Stir mixture once or twice, to evenly toast the grains.
NOTE: We slightly ground our flax seeds, as whole flax seeds can not be digested whole, therefore not receiving the benefits of the seed.
In a large bowl combine salt, coconut, cinnamon and dried fruits, and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the vanilla, honey, butter and brown sugar. Stir continuously, bring mixture to a soft boil.
NOTE: You can use raw honey because of it dense nutritional content, but after baking the bars much of the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes will be destroyed from the high heat, therefore processed organic honey would be okay to use.
When oat mixture is done toasting, transfer to the same bowl with coconut mixture and stir to evenly combine, then add the honey mixture and stir to incorporate.
Line a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with waxed paper. Spread the mixture, using the back of a wooden spoon, pressing the mixture out over the waxed paper evenly to create a smooth, even surface.
Place another piece of waxed paper over the top, pressing down to evenly compact the mixture.
NOTE: Compacting is important so the bars won’t fall apart when cut. You can place a smaller pan within the 9 X 13 inch baking pan to press the mixture out evenly. You can also use a large drinking glass, by rolling it over the wax paper.
Cool, than refrigerate about 2 hours. Doing so ensures a clean cut. After cutting the baked granola into bars, wrap them in waxed paper and store in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.Ty can even be store in the freezer for up to between 6 to 8 months.
We had a small sugar piepumpkin that was given to us around the middle of November (2015), and I just got around to roasting it. We took too long to get to it, but the pumpkin flesh was still good. After roasting it, we were able to get 30 ounce of puree, which is equal to two 15 ounce store bought cans. We needed to see how good the puree would taste, so it could be used to make either some pies, pumpkin bread or cookies, and even a pumpkin cheesecake. After roasting and pureeing the pumpkin, we wanted to taste the flavor of the flesh, so we mixed some with real maple syrup and some pecan pieces, and wow it was very tasty.
The pumpkin pie recipe we decided to make with 15 ounce of the puree was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens November 2015 issue.
We did change the recipe a bit, as we used a gluten free pie shell.
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika ( original recipe called for milk chili powder)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (we used our fresh roasted pumpkin puree)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup half and half or light cream
Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
Bake pie crust according to packaged instructions.
For pie: Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small sauce pan heat chocolate and butter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, just until melted, then set aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine coconut sugar, pie spice, salt, and chili powders. Stir in pumpkin puree and eggs until combined. Next gradually stir in half and half until combined.
Stir 1 1/2 cups of the pumpkin mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture, then pour into pie crust.
Next pour remaining pumpkin mixture over chocolate layer.
Bake for 60 minutes or until center appears set. Cool pie, then chill within 2 hours.
In a small bowl add 3 ounces of shaved dark chocolate and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. In a small sauce pot bring 1/4 cup cream to a simmer, and pour over shaved chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.
Spoon Chocolate Ganache over pie, then add shaved dark chocolate and some powdered chili.
Serve a piece of Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, and enjoy!!
The Romans are said to have invented the culinary dish they called Flan. After hundreds of years being enjoyed by many cultures, Spain popularized flan as a sweet custard dessert made with caramelized sugar, and the Moors added
Though flan today is especially associated with Mexico where it prepared in the kitchens of most all the inhabitants of Mexico.
Flan is a favorite desert at our house. Once you get the hang of it, flan is easy and simple to make. Here is what you will need to make Splendid Recipe and More’s version of Spanish Flan…
½ cup sugar
1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1- 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, add sugar, stirring constantly (can also vigorously move sauce pan back and forth over burner with one hand while stir with the other) until the sugar becomes liquid and golden.
Pour into a 9-inch round metal baking dish, tilting to coat bottom and sides if possible. We found that a metal pan works’s the best for making flan. Also after pour the hot golden liquid sugar into the pan, use gloves as you move the pan about coating it, as it will become hot to the touch. Set aside.
In a food processor, or a large boil with a hand beater, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Mix in condensed and evaporated milks and vanilla until smooth. Strain egg mixture while pouring into the caramel coated pan.
Place pan into a roasting pan. Carefully fill the roasting pan with hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the metal baking dish.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until flan is just set (does not wobble). place the flan on a wire rack. First loosen the sides with a knife and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Next invert carefully on a rimmed serving platter. Be careful as the liquid caramel will flow out over flan and down the sides. Place platter in the refrigerator and chill 3 hours up to 24 hours.
When chilled, and you are ready for dessert, remove flan from refrigerator, plate and serve.
For the the greater part of human history, most cultures could not afford to waste food, so a number of uses for stale bread as an example were fashioned. Stale bread was used in many dishes, which were both savory and sweet. One of those sweet dishes became sweet bread pudding.
The basic recipe for such a dessert, was stale bread, eggs, milk and sugar. Over the years other things were added, like fresh or dried fruits, and nuts.
If two of your favorite desserts happen to be bread pudding and pumpkin pie, then why not enjoy the best of two worlds, that is pumpkin bread pudding?
Our featured recipe combines bread with pumpkin and pecans. But that is not all, this one is accompanied by a toffee sauce that has rum in it. Do we have your mouth watering? Then let’s get to baking. Here is what you will need for the featured recipe: Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum Sauce.
1 loaf or 16 oz. sourdough bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, half and half or cream, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, spice, and salt.Add the bread cubes and pecans and toss to coat, making sure all the bread cubes are coated with the egg mixture.
Spoon the bread pudding into to 13 X 9 inch glass baking dish and bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center just comes out clean.
Set aside on a wire rack to cool slightly.
As the pumpkin bread is cooling you can prepare the toffee sauce. In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, add and mix together the brown sugar, heavy cream, melted butter, and one teaspoon of your favorite rum. Stir toether just until a soft boil, and set aside.
For the whipped cream topping, we personally place a large bowl and the wire whisk attachment or attachments in the freezer for about 5 minutes. A cold bowl and attachments will whip the heavy cream much faster.
In a large cold bowl, pour in the heavy cream, sugar, and rum. Whip until peaks form.
Serve a slice of pumpkin and pecan bread pudding with a dollop of whipped cream, drizzled with some toffee rum sauce, and a sprinkle of pecan pieces.
Try some of our other great bread pudding recipes…
If you like blueberries, white chocolate, real cream, and bread pudding, than this is the dessert recipe for you. We found this recipe about 7 or 8 years ago. Personally I would consider this our signature dessert recipe, as we sell desserts, and this is the most ordered dessert on our list.
Bread pudding is a dessert dish with very old roots. It evolved as a use for stale bread. Many cultures throughout history have seen starvation, and food shortages, and they seen no reason to waste food, not even stale bread. Many culinary dishes have been invented using stale bread, both savory and sweet.
Today making bread pudding is still a tradition, though current recipes are far more extravagant or splendid since the inception of making bread pudding.
Our featured recipe never goes without a word of, “this was so delicious”, and we think you will feel the same. It is fast and simple to put together, and here is what you will need.
*With the presence of sugar in a recipe, using salt can reduce the amount of sugar used. The original recipe calls for 2 cups sugar but no salt. By adding the salt, less sugar is needed. The salt brings out the sweetness of the sugar, making it seem as though you put two cups.
Preheat oven to 350°
In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and sugar, then cream together. Next add the heavy cream and vanilla. Mix until combined. Next stir in blueberries, and white chocolate chips.
Mix in prepared bread cubes.
Let stand for 10-15 minutes or until bread is softened.
Transfer to a 13×9 inch glass baking dish.
Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. Can plate and serve with white chocolate sauce, heavy cream, or a scoop of real vanilla ice cream.