As you well know, I will never admit to being a pet person. I will, however, admit to being a lemon freak. Maybe even a citrus freak. Right now in our refrigerator, we have about a large paper grocery bag’s worth of grapefruit, half again as much of juicing oranges (arizona sweets and valencias), a box of clementines, a dozen lemons, eight meyer lemons, and a few tangelos + limes. The only reason we don’t have blood oranges is because I just used them to make sorbet a few days ago.

Granted, its citrus season here in the valley- and most of the fruit currently stockpiled was given to us by friends, family, and neighbors. A large part of central Phoenix was once citrus orchards, planted back in the 1920’s, when land and newly available irrigation were cheap. Despite the transition of the area to residential, many of the old trees remain.

We’ve planted some citrus on our property too- but it will probably be a while before we can harvest- the five-gallon trees we planted last spring need a few years to grow. We did end up with a few limes, and a single kumquat! We have a Meyer lemon tree, a (normal) Eureka lemon, a Bearss lime, a Moro blood orange, a Meiwa kumquat, a Minneola tangelo, and a satsuma tree. The only reason we didn’t plant more ( I still want a grapefruit, a citron, a yuzu, and maybe a clementine) is because B was sick of digging holes!

Anyway, with this abundance of citrus, I’ve got plans to cook up a storm- so far I’ve only been making cakes, cookies, lemonade, limeade, citrus-ade, and throwing grapefruit into my favorite salad, but there’s more to come. But probably my favorite way to use citrus? Sorbets.

This recipe is from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook. I’ve made maybe a dozen or so recipes out of this book- and they’ve all been terrific, but this is one of the ones I come back to, time and time again- because its easy, and delicious. Since its so simple, the flavors of the just-squeezed citrus really shine. We really love the undertones of raspberry that you can taste in the fruit. The only change I make is to not strain the juice- I like the little bits of pulp left in- it adds texture- like pulpy orange juice. Its terrific with blood oranges, as written, but other citrus work as well- we’re very fond of grapefruit.


Note: If you make the recipe with regular navel oranges, you might want to add less sugar, since the fruit is already so sweet.

Blood Orange Sorbet

from Bouchon, by Thomas Keller

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

3 cups blood orange juice (from about 12 oranges)

Combine the sugar + water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to a medium bowl and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. Add the orange juice and refrigerate until cold.

Transfer to an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes about 1 quart.