Part one: It’s the new black
“Amy, why haven’t you eaten any citrus fruits yet?”
Honestly, internet, you’re so picky. I was getting to it. I’ve had coke with a slice of lemon in it before, what more do you want?
I’ve kind of been putting off trying oranges, because I have very mixed feelings about them. On the one hand, I’ve been drinking smooth orange juice for years, and I almost don’t mind “with bits” any more either.
On the other hand, the last time I tried to overcome my fear of fruit – back in first year of university – I bought an orange, spent about ten hours peeling it, bit into one segment and then immediately spat it out and that was that for next four years of my life.
So who knows what might happen next?
I cut the orange in half for the picture above (isn’t my hair looking cute these days?) but I’m unsure how to actually eat it. In the end, I cut it in half a second time to make quarters, and then I get a bowl because things are getting increasingly messy.
Gouging out the first segment half sends juice shooting everywhere, anf I end up using both hands which id msking ut very diffivult to typr.
I typed that sentence using my little finger as I ate, and hopefully you now have a sense of how difficult that was. Sometimes I think we should have made Amy vs Fruit a vlog, because you guys really miss out on a lot of the live drama.
Anyway. I actually genuinely love the orange. It’s sweet and juicy the texture is nowhere near as terrible as I remember it from last time. The rind is clearly the worst part, and I can totally see how people would become obsessed with trying to peel away every last bit.
But eating the second quarter is far more successful, and I am able to carefully peel away the segment halves so that there’s barely any rind on them at all.
There is still juice everywhere though.
I can safely say that I like oranges, but also that I am never eating them in public.
Part two: Ice queen
I’m going to make orange sorbet.
When I email Hattie to inform her of this on my lunchbreak, she is sceptical.
“What recipe are you going to use?” she asks. “We don’t have great equipment for that sort of thing…”
Luckily I have already googled it and this lovely recipe by Honest Cooking says it’s FINE. I just have put it in the freezer and then stir it at regular intervals. Further googling suggests that once an hour will probably do the trick.
“My experience is that it will freeze solid,” Hattie warns. “It really doesn’t sound like a doable after-work recipe…”
I am determined. How wrong could it really go?
“Godspeed,” is her final word on the matter. “Hope it works out, but if it doesn’t, every Masterchef winner leaves several failed ice creams in their wake…”
With those words of encouragement, we both went back to work and then she went out for dinner with her mum. (Hi Hattie’s mum!)
When I got home, I began following the Honest Cooking recipe as planned. Sort of. I used fewer oranges (four and a half) and I think I accidentally used more sugar. But when have I ever actually followed a recipe in the past? It works out about 55% of the time.
Step 1: Battle with the appropriate way to juice oranges. In the end I settle on slicing them vertically in half, calving the insides out with a knife (as seen above), scraping the rest out with a spoon, then whacking it all in a blender. (Look, I never said I was ACTUALLY on Masterchef.)
Step 2: Measure out your sugar, add water, and gently heat until it’s all dissolved. Mix in with the juice and leave to chill in the fridge for an hour (although time is pressing on, so I decide half an hour will do).
Step 3: I was very careful not to break the domes of orange skin, because I want to use them as adorable sorbet bowls like an American supermom would on Pinterest. So I use this chilling time to properly wash out the skins, and then stack them with squares of tin foil between them so they don’t get stuck together. I then place this rather bizarre tower in the freezer.
Step 4: Move the sorbet mixture to the freezer to freeze.
Step 5: Just as Hattie warned, I took so long juicing the oranges and faffing about with peel that it is somehow now almost 9pm. I whisk the sorbet mixture twice over the next 45 minutes as if that will make up for the lost time – but nothing seems to be happening, so I force myself to let it sit for the designated hour. At 10:45, the edges of the bowl are actually frozen! Science! I whisk away and break them into the mixture and it feels at though everything is beginning to coalesce.
Step 6: The next morning it’s frozen solid. Balls.
Step 7: It’s okay because when I come home I leave it to defrost in the fridge for an hour, pop it in the blender and hey presto! A lovely, healthy, refreshing summer treat. Just like a Pinterest mom.
Reynold would love it. Remember when he made that blood orange thing? Remember when he served that coconut thing inside an actual coconut? We’re basically married now.