It was right around this time last year that I made Blood Orange Sorbet in a Chocolate Shell. Well, blood oranges are back in season, and I just could not resist buying two big bags full when I came across them last week. When I unloaded them I realized that there were a ton of them, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them all. I mean, yeah, we could snack on them. But I’m a food blogger—I wanted to make something with some of them!
After a quick search, I found a recipe for blood orange ice cream. It’s a slightly lower fat recipe since it has no heavy cream in it, just whole milk and egg yolks (both of which I had in the house). I’m not going to lie, it’s not quite as rich and creamy as regular ice cream, but it was still delicious.
I then used the leftover egg whites to make some vanilla meringue cookies, and sandwiched the ice cream in between them.
Vanilla Meringue & Blood Orange Ice Cream Sandwiches
For the Blood Orange Ice Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, split open
Generous pinch of salt
2 tablespoons blood orange zest
4 large eggs yolks (reserve the egg whites for the meringues)
1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice
For the Vanilla Meringue Cookies:
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Make the ice cream:
1. Combine the milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the vanilla bean, salt, and orange zest in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and then remove from the heat.
2. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly ladle some of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly (you wan to warm up the egg yolks, so that when you add them to the hot milk you don’t end up with scrambled eggs). Add the egg yolk mixture into the pot with the milk, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
3. Strain the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool. Stir in the blood orange juice, cover, and place in the fridge until very cold.
4. Process according to your ice cream maker’s directions. transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm.
Make the Meringues:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Trace 12 3-inch circles onto parchment paper with a pencil, flip the parchment over so that the pencil circles are on the bottom, and place on a sheet pan.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a handheld mixer, or, if you’re feeling brave, by hand with a whisk), beat the egg whites until they’re foamy. With the mixer in medium-high, beat in the vinegar and salt. Keep on beating until you get soft peaks (when you lift the whisk out of the egg whites, a peak will form but won’t hold it’s shape). At this point you want to start adding the sugar. Add it slowly, about 1 tablespoon at a time, to allow the sugar to fully dissolve into the eggs. Beat on high speed, until the whites are stiff and shiny. Add the vanilla, then sprinkle the cornstarch over, and beat just until incorporated.
3. Pipe or spread your meringue mixture onto the parchment-lined sheet pan, using the circles as a template. You may have extra meringue, which you can pipe onto another parchment-lined sheet pan, for extra cookies to snack on.
4. Place in the oven, and immediately turn the heat down to 300°F. Bake for 30 minutes, and then shut the oven off. Leave the sheet pan(s) in the oven to allow the meringues to completely dry out, several hours at least.
5. Remove from the oven. When the meringues are completely cool, gently remove them from the parchment paper. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (or freeze for up to a month).
Remove the ice cream from the freezer to soften a bit. Spoon or spread some onto 6 of the meringues. Do this very gently, because meringues can be very fragile! Top each one with another meringue. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap, and freeze. Remove the sandwiches from the freezer a few minutes before you want to eat them, just so the ice cream is not too hard to bite into (I like it best when it’s just starting to soften).
Makes 12 sandwiches
Ice cream recipe from Pictures and Pancakes
Meringues adapted from Meringue, by Linda K. Jackson & Jennifer Evans Gardner