I haven't had a chance to capitalize on the blood orange this season, something I normally go crazy for. I might make more blood orange liqueur and certainly more marmalade (if I can remember the recipe this time) but what else?
Wracking my brains I couldn't think of anything, nor could I find any interesting recipes. Claudia Flemming had only blood oranges in caramel or sorbet. But I did find two recipes that required oranges, so I thought I would just substitute.
Gourmet yielded orange cardamom cookies in which I used blood orange zest instead and fresh cardamom instead of ground, cutting the sticky dough into heart shapes, in defiance of the week after Valentine's. The trusty magazine also offered up clementines in ginger syrup, and I think you can guess what I used instead of the clementines. As a designer, I'm partial to the balance of a trio, so I needed a foil for my two spice-ridden desserts. As the New York Times had just published what seemed like a remarkably easy pudding recipe I thought I would have a go at that.
The cookies were sublime and there's a lot of them – I froze half the dough and who knows if it will hold up to freezing, but I didn't need to make that many cookies. I added more cream than the recipe calls for (having read the reviews on Epicurious) and they were really, really delicious. I have a great love of cardamom, probably because it is in the Sri Lankan food that I grew up on, and the bitter blood orange zest married perfectly with it. The cookies also went very well with the pudding, but that's probably because I chucked a cardamom pod into the steaming pudding for five minutes because I thought it tasted very sweet and plain. But sweet and plain was perfect with the tartness of the blood oranges and the not-too-sweet cookies.
The syrup should be called star anise syrup and not ginger. That is the resounding flavor, certainly not the ginger. But the combination of spices is amazing and perfect with the tart citrus. You can see from the picture that the blood oranges dyed the syrup a scarlet red, which was beautiful spilled over the quivering lily-whiteness of the pudding. I know, it all sounds like a bad horror movie. Who says you can't have drama with citrus?