There’s a time of day when the intensity of midday light finally subsides and the sun slowly lowers itself in the sky creating a wash of warm light bathed in a soft, golden glow.
Shadows stretch wider and longer with a playful seriousness. Mountains take on new dimension with angular light that catches and hides their peaks and folds. Green leaves gently flutter in the breeze and shimmer in the golden light.
It’s the golden hour. The last hour of sunlight in the day when the sun casts a golden hue on everything in its path, and the sky warms with splashes of orange and pink. It’s a prelude to silhouettes shaped once the setting sun slips beneath the horizon. A daily occurrence. A visual cue to begin winding down my day.
The golden hour is a part of the day I relish yet fail to enjoy as often during the months of the year when darkness sneaks up far too quickly, seemingly just as the door closes and homework begins. But the days are beginning to lengthen, moving the golden hour to a time when it doesn’t have to compete for my attention.
As winter fades into spring, I know warmer days are ahead. And I anxiously anticipate the time when the heat of the summer sun finally eases up a bit and my backyard patio becomes the center of my home replete with chatter, clinking cocktail glasses and laughter. I love the way the golden light spills onto the space filling it with it’s charm; it’s the guest I never want to leave but when it does I can’t wait for its return. The golden hour invariably lightens the mood, pulls the indoors out and brings everyone together again at the end of the day. It’s a favorite time to entertain, but really it’s the golden light itself that does the entertaining.
Unfortunately time moves too quickly during the golden hour, and there is so much to take in: the way the golden light highlights the rim of every glass, accentuates the point of every leaf, and illuminates the edge of every petal. Everything has it’s own wonder and attraction shifting in the ever-changing light. If I gaze too long in one direction, I’ll have missed something in another. I try to take it all in before it quickly disappears leaving a watercolor sky that fades incrementally into darkness.
Inspired by a completely unloved neighborhood lime tree heavy with fruit, the unique beauty of blood oranges, the incredible California sunsets, and this picture I saw on Pinterest, I created Lime Sorbet with Tequila-Marinated Blood Oranges to enjoy as a refreshing adult dessert or cocktail. Everything about it reminds me of the golden hour and the vividly painted sky that often follows it.
The abundance of California citrus and the ease with which this comes together will make this a favorite with south of the border fare and it is easily doubled just in case you want to have it on hand for one of "those" days.
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup freshly squeeze lime juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest, packed
- 3 blood oranges, supremed (see notes below)
- Tequila blanco (recommend 7 Leguas or another high-quality white tequila)
- To make the sorbet, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and pour contents into a heat-safe glass bowl to cool.
- Add lime juice and lime zest. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to accelerate cooling process (or leave on counter to cool to room temperature).
- When the liquid has completely cooled, pour into freezer bowl of electric ice-cream/sorbet mixer and mix until thickened, about 25 minutes (but this depends on how cold the liquid was to begin with).
- Scoop sorbet into glasses and top with tequila-marinated blood oranges (if serving as a beverage). Or if serving as a dessert, place sorbet in an airtight freezer safe container for about 2 hours and remove about 10 minutes before serving.
- To make the tequila-marinated blood oranges, place orange segments into a bowl or glass jar with a hinged lid and completely cover with tequila.
- Cover bowl and allow to sit at room temperature until sorbet is ready or refrigerate for future use.
There are many, many You Tube videos and websites on the internet that show the step-by-step process of how to supreme an orange.
Limes are at their best when allowed to ripe to a golden-green color. It is at this point that you will be able to extract the most juice from them. But if you can't wait, a citrus press or juicer will make quick work of the juicing process.
If serving as a beverage, you may want to cut the oranges into bite sized pieces before marinading.
I purposely left the amount of tequila open to your discretion as it will be different depending on whether this is served as a beverage or as a dessert.