Wintering with Citrus
In today's world of social media, seasons have become verbs and posting weather updates can often indicate one's current mood. Typically in the NYC area at this time in late February most people are daydreaming about tropical beach vacations and are completely over the cold and dirty snowy season. But yesterday was something wonderful and very unusual. It was spring in February! Sidewalk cafes were busy with people out and about soaking up the glorious warm weather as if the calendar said it was late April. This is far from normal winter weather for the big apple!! If you're like me, you're concerned with the trend of these unusual global weather patterns in recent years. If 2016 was the warmest year on record than it would appear that 2017 is definitely in the race. Scary my friends as our seasons are important for all kinds of reasons, too many reasons to get involved with here, but seriously, we must continue to raise awareness of Climate Change and ways in which we can all live more responsibly with a smaller carbon footprint.
But right now let's talk about one very delicious season the culinary world loves to celebrate. Citrus season, specifically blood orange season. These crimson beauties are in season from December through May and have a sweeter and more tart flavor than your usual naval orange. The red coloring come from the same anthocyanin pigment that gives other fruits, particularly raspberries, their bright red color. And the darker the color the more of this compound that's been linked to help prevent some cancers, heart disease, and some eye disorders. Next time you're out food shopping keep your eyes out for the Moro and Tarocco varieties of blood oranges and scoop them up before the season is over.
You might want to grab some Cara Cara oranges as well. These oranges have a more pink-orangey flesh color and are also sweet and tasty. Either way you can't go wrong with citrus season as there are so many delicious options.
Pairing these citrus beauties with an almond flavored cake and either a white chocolate (made here) or a dark chocolate with orange buttercream (trust me, you want this too!) frosting is delightful. The citrus flavor in the cake is made by zesting two oranges and rubbing this concentrated flavor into the granulated sugar before combining with soften butter. I use these steps when making citrus cookies as well because it really flavors the other ingredients making your recipe stand out. This cake also uses both buttermilk and sour cream which keep things from being too dense.
Hope you enjoy! Happy winter or spring or whatever season we're having!