Monday, February 6, 2012 / 49 Comments / , , ,

blood orange sherbet & pink heart meringues

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Summer fruit seems to get all the glory with it's juicy berries, melons, and stone fruit. But winter has some pretty spectacular fruit itself. Blood oranges are a favorite in our house this time of year. I always think I'm getting way too much as I place the stretching plastic bagful into the cart.  And although the bowl of oranges on the counter looks massive, it only lasts a day or two. L (almost 2) screams "peel it, peel it!" which of course leads to a white kitchen table (and little girl) covered in red drips.
Every time I cut into a blood orange I'm amazed that such a vibrant color just grows in nature
 
With their natural sweetness, these blood oranges were just begging me to turn them into a sinless dessert. So we juiced them, added some milk, a tiny bit of sugar, and soon had the most amazingly delicious ice cream. It tasted like 50/50 ice cream - that refreshing orange and vanilla combination - with the added bonus of being naturally pink! If you have girls who love the book Pinkalicious, you know just how big of an added bonus this really is. Huge. Hubby was at a conference in New Orleans all week so our household was feeling very pink. 
 After the girls went to bed while Yummy Hubby was away I did what I do when I get anxious. I bake like a mad woman. So we ended up with these delicate pink heart meringue cookies. They are also fairly sinless, being that they are fat-free and low-carb. Both of these recipes would make perfect Valentine's Day desserts.

Blood Orange Sherbet 
print this recipe!

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, approximately 2 to 3 pounds oranges
zest of one blood orange 
1/4 cup sugar (amount may vary depending on the sweetness of your oranges)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk

In a medium bowl, whisk together juice, zest, sugar, vanilla, and milk. Chill until very cold, about 1 hour. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions. Transfer to freezer-safe container and store in freezer.


Heart Meringue Cookies 

4 egg whites
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
pink gel food coloring (if you want them to be pink!)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy using an electric mixer. Sprinkle in sugar a little at a time, while continuing to whip at medium speed. Add a tiny drop of food coloring if using. When the mixture becomes stiff and shiny stop mixing, and transfer the mixture to a large pastry bag. Pipe the meringue out onto the prepared baking sheet using a large round tip or star tip in a heart shape.
Place the meringues in the oven and place a wooden spoon handle in the door to keep it from closing all the way. Bake for 2 1/2 hours, or until the meringues are dry, and can easily be removed from the pan. Allow cookies to cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature. meringue recipe via

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