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Rachel Allen: Add some zing to cakes and salad with blood oranges, in season now for a short time

They have the zing of a raspberry and pack a huge nutritional punch. Blood oranges are only in the shops for a short while, so get baking them in a cake, or enjoy them in these delicious salads

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Rachel Allen's blood orange cake. Photo: Tony Gavin

Rachel Allen's blood orange cake. Photo: Tony Gavin

Rachel Allen's blood orange cake. Photo: Tony Gavin

Rachel Allen's blood orange cake. Photo: Tony Gavin

'The red pigment in blood oranges is an antioxidant, thought to bring many health benefits, even more than you get with your average orange.' Photo: Tony Gavin

'The red pigment in blood oranges is an antioxidant, thought to bring many health benefits, even more than you get with your average orange.' Photo: Tony Gavin

Rachel Allen's blood orange cake. Photo: Tony Gavin

Rachel Allen's blood orange cake. Photo: Tony Gavin

"Look out for blood oranges in your local greengrocer, farmer’s market and supermarket to bring some zing to your kitchen this month." Photo: Tony Gavin

"Look out for blood oranges in your local greengrocer, farmer’s market and supermarket to bring some zing to your kitchen this month." Photo: Tony Gavin

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Rachel Allen's blood orange cake. Photo: Tony Gavin

With its intense citrus flavour, an almost raspberry-like zing and a dark-pink-hued flesh to match, the blood orange is high up on the list of my favourite fruits. Blood oranges are only available for a couple of months a year — from Christmas until the end of February or March — and are usually imported into Ireland from the Mediterranean, though they are also grown in some of the warmer states of America.

The blood orange, like its cousin the orange, works a treat in sweet baking, drinks and cocktails, and also loves earthy-flavoured ingredients such as beetroot or the deep, savoury tang of goat’s cheese. The fruit’s sharp sweetness also makes blood oranges a delightful pairing with seafood such as scallops and crab, or with white meats.


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