During our trip to Narrogin last month, however, Helen and I made sorbet with blood oranges from her very own tree.
At first glance blood oranges don’t seem remarkably different on the outside from their orange orange cousins, apart from a sprinkling of darker pigmentation on the rind that can range from a small blemish to a large spatter.
It’s only when you slice it open that you can truly appreciate the fruit and its namesake – juicy, dark ruby segments with amber highlights among the deep wine red.
The incredible colouring was sure to make a vividly coloured sorbet, and as you can see we weren’t disappointed.
Helen and her husband Peter live in a beautiful home in the country town of Narrogin, about a two and a half hour drive inland from Perth.
In front of their house, the drive encompasses a lovely country garden that overflows with blossoming trees, shrubs and oodles of roses in springtime, whilst the back is home to a giant quince tree, orange tree, herb garden and enclosed patio from which to enjoy a cup of tea and read a book.
They also have the block next door which is home to Crabapple Cottage, a small but cosily furnished bed and breakfast guest house for family, friends and paying visitors.
The cottage takes up only about a quarter of the block and the rest is dedicated to a number of large raised vegetable beds and fruit trees.
Spring is my favourite time to visit, as the apple, ornamental cherry, almond, quince and crabapple trees erupt in full bloom.
At this point, most are only young and a third of their ultimate size, so I keep looking forward to the vista in a few years’ time.
Although these pictures don’t do justice to the real thing, here are some photos of Helen’s lovingly tended gardens (the blood orange sorbet recipe is included at the end).
garden peas & broad beans | crabapple cottage, narrogin
country garden blossoms
the lord & lady of the manor, baxter & audrey | crabapple cottage, narrogin
quince blossoms | crabapple cottage, narrogin
treasures from nature, sunlight & banana bread
blood oranges in the kitchen nook
blood orange sorbet
based on the recipe from the telegraph
4 – 5 blood oranges
⅔ cup white sugar
juice of ½ lemon
1 egg white
Wash the oranges in soapy water and rinse well.
Place the sugar in a large bowl and rub each orange all over with the sugar. This will pick up the oil in the zest and some of the colour.
Once each orange has been rubbed, place the sugar into a small saucepan with ¼ cup of water.
Juice the oranges until you have one cup’s worth and pour both the orange and lemon juices through a nylon sieve to remove any solids. Stir in the lemon juice.
Heat the sugar and water gently, stirring frequently to help the sugar dissolve. Once dissolved, add to the fruit juice to the pan and gently simmer for a further five minutes.
Remove from the heat, pour into a heat-proof bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
Once completely cool, pour into your ice-cream maker along with the egg white and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.