I am obsessed with blood oranges lately. Of course it’s the color that gets me, that unassuming blushed orange hiding a deliciously juicy red interior.
Their name too, it’s pretty dark and dirty for a fruit. I love that they’re mainly in season from December through March, like little jewels among the gloom that point the way from winter toward spring. They’re lovely to bake with, though many recipes turn their juice into something pink and sticky. I considered going that route, but in the end kept their integrity and make something more rustic and imperfect. These scones are one of my proudest baking moments thus far- they turned out that good. They’re a bit of work, especially depending on how far you take them, but completely worth it. Try for yourself!
Blood Orange Chocolate Chip Scones:
adapted from How Sweet It Is.
makes 12-16 scones
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
zest of 3 blood oranges
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, cold + 2 tbsp
1 cup non-dairy milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional, but recommended. try mini ones!)
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 1/3 cup sugar with 1/2 the grated zest. Using the back of a spoon, crush and combine the two, until the sugar is slightly orange and aromatic.
In a small bowl, combine non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for a few minutes to create a pseudo-buttermilk that brings these scones to the next level.
In a large bowl, combine flours, orange sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Using a pastry blender, your fingers, a fork or two knives, cut in the butter until the dough becomes crumbly. Stir in “buttermilk” and vanilla, the juice from half a blood orange, and half the remaining orange zest. Combine, add chocolate chips, and then knead together gently. Divide in half and form into two 7-inch circles on a Silpat or parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, combine 2 tbsp margarine and the juice from the remaining half blood orange. Heat until butter and juice have reduced to nearly half their original volume. Combine the remaining two tbsp sugar and orange zest in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of glaze across the scones, and sprinkle them with sugar. Cut into six or eight wedges, taking care to slice completely through.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until scones begin to brown. Pull out and pull scones apart, checking to see if their sides are crisp or still soft. If soft, return to oven for a few more minutes, until the sides have browned. Let cool. Enjoy as is, or drizzle with blood orange syrup, or a (semi-involved) ganache glaze.
Blood Orange Syrup:
(makes extra, I’m obsessed with blood oranges right now)
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 blood orange, sliced
Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until rinds are nearly translucent, and liquid has turned syrupy. I’m using what’s left over for cocktails!
Blood Orange Chocolate Ganache Glaze (optional):
1/2 cup almond milk (or non-dairy of choice)
2 tbsp blood orange syrup (above)
3 tbsp chocolate chips
In a small saucepan, heat almond milk and syrup. Turn heat to very low, and add chocolate chips, stirring until combined. Using a fork or spatula, drizzle over scones. I chose to leave half plain, as they’re delicious either way.