I’ve been fantasizing about citrus the past couple of days. You see, back in California, our orange tree and meyer lemon tree were both producing tons of fruit when we moved. I’ve been fairly non-sentimental about the entire house sale until today. I woke up to find a small, rainy snow flurry outside my window this morning and I craved something citrus.
You can see from my living room window that the street down below was quite a mess. I ventured out into the rain toward the small triangle shaped building in the middle of this photograph. It’s Urban Fare, a small (and expensive) upscale grocery store that’s close by.
I decided to make lemon bars, but as I walked I started thinking about blood oranges. I’ve never had one and they intrigue me. I wondered what the lemon bars would turn out like if made with blood oranges. Fortunately, the store had baskets of Moro Blood Oranges waiting for me.
The oranges have a reddish tint to the peel and were shockingly deep purple when cut open. It reminded me of working with pomegranate and just how blood red the juice can be. My cutting board looked like a murder scene.
The bars are easy to make and gave me the citrus fix I needed. I used the juice of both blood oranges and limes in order to get some tartness in the bars. Blood orange juice alone would likely be too sweet.
These turned out well and are much more subtle than a regular lemon bar. I was afraid the red color would turn too brown during baking, but fortunately it remained a dull pinkish-red. Be careful when juicing the oranges though — the juice splatters dark red dots all over the place.
After many days of waiting, I’m happy to report that as of this afternoon our house is officially sold — the sale closed (after a nail biting, near 75 day close). We’re done. I no longer own an orange tree or a meyer lemon tree.
Blood Orange Bars
3/4 cups unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
Cream butter and sugar, then slowly add flour and salt until combined. Pour mixture into a small pan — I use a 11″x7″ glass pan. Press down with your fingers to flatten into an even layer. Bake at 350F (180C) for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup juice, half blood orange and half lime
2 Tablespoons zest, half blood orange and half lime
2/3 cup flour
Whisk the sugar and eggs until blended, then add juice, zest, and flour. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour filling over the cooled crust. Return to the oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Cut into squares and enjoy!
More blood orange ideas: