Brunches & Blood Oranges

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Today’s post is a sunset-hued citrus extravaganza. Blood orange season is short, so I love to make the most of it. This time it’s with a beautiful blood orange brunch.

Fresh blood oranges are sweeter than standard oranges and, of course, they have a gorgeously dappled ruby colour. Whatever you can do with an orange, you can do with their crimson cousins, but with an added dash of colour and aroma. For brunch, I made a fruit-studded yoghurt platter served alongside freshly squeezed juice. For something a little heartier, I made Blood Orange Marmalade and syrup to serve on toast or pancakes – just wait until you see the deep red colour!

2016_03_11-JennisTable-blood-oranges-0022016_03_11-JennisTable-blood-oranges-0092016_03_11-JennisTable-blood-oranges-0032016_03_11-JennisTable-bloodorangeYOGHURT-RECIPE

There is nothing earth-shatteringly new about serving yoghurt with fruit, unless you serve the yoghurt in an enormous, patterned platter which becomes a centrepiece! There is something so striking about bright red blood orange discs that made me want to play with colour and pattern, so I loaded up the table with zingy colours and geometric patterns.  I went for a zebra-striped serving dish and I used sheets of reversible wrapping paper by Roger la Borde as a table cloth and place mats.

Pile creamy yoghurt into the centre of your dish, then circle it with generous heaps of dried cranberries, pistachios, walnuts and plenty of sliced blood oranges. Drizzle the lot with thick honey, sprinkle on some mint leaves, and you’re good to go. Leave a stack of small bowls on the table and guests can serve themselves. Next stop: A huge jug of freshly squeezed juice.

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One of the simplest, and most wonderful, things you can do with blood oranges is to make marmalade. Sweet, fruity, perfumed marmalade – It smells heavenly and tastes just as good! Keep it runny and use it as syrup drizzled over pancakes or waffles, or thicken it up and use it to make the most amazing peanut butter & jam on toast you’ve ever had! Better yet, swap out the peanut spread for delicate green pistachio butter, and you’ll have a bonafide brunch upgrade on your hands.

I like to add a handful of blood orange slices to the jam pot at a late stage, so that the fruit softens and caramelises, but doesn’t disintegrate. That way, you can serve the sweet jammy slices over buttered toast. So incredibly warming and delicious, and very pretty too.

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Blood Orange season in the UK runs from late winter to early spring. Look out for Sicilian fruit, which are widely considered to be the finest. But most of all: Enjoy them now and don’t miss out on them this year!

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