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juicing blood oranges

As I mentioned a month ago, I bought a box of blood oranges this winter, and have been looking for ways of preserving them to enjoy through the rest of the year.  These are a particularly amazing colour (most I’ve seen previously are only lightly flushed with red) and I’ve made both blood orange curd and blood orange and strawberry marmalade with them.  I thought a cordial might be a good way of carrying that wonderful colour and flavour into summer.

My mother makes a fabulous passionfruit cordial with the huge amounts of fruit her vine produces, so I combined her recipe with a few others for orange and lemon cordials and came up with the recipe below.

I’ve tried it with just water and ice, which was very refreshing, but am looking forward to trying it with soda water, as well as using it in summer in some citrus cocktails.  I’ll let you know how it goes…

cordial with water and ice

Blood Orange Cordial

Makes approximately 2.75L

  • 2kg sugar
  • 1L water
  • 1L blood orange juice
  • zest of 1 blood orange
  • 15g citric acid
  • 15g tartaric acid

In a large pot, stir together the sugar, water, and zest. Strain the juice, pressing on the pulp to extract as much juice as possible.  Measure the acids and put aside.

Add the juice to the pan and bring to the boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Watch carefully as it will foam up and may boil over, so be ready to reduce the heat. Simmer for about 15 min until slightly syrupy, skimming occasionally to remove foam if needed.

When done, remove from the heat and stir in the tartaric and citric acids until dissolved. Pour into sterilized bottles or jars, seal, and store in a cool place – keep in the fridge once opened. If you don’t want to sterilise bottles, just pour into a clean bottle or jug and store in the fridge.

[Note: After I’d made this, my mum mentioned that it is much easier to strain the cordial after cooking, rather than straining the juice initially as I did.  It would probably also extract more flavour, so that’s what I’ll do next time.]