If you follow German food blogs, chances are you have come across a dessert called Arance. Robert originally dug out this fruit dessert from one of Marcella Hazan’s books and while it is the incarnation of the word simple, it never ceases to amaze people. Many food bloggers have joined the praise since his original post and I – too – have added this recipe to my list of quick and proven dessert fixes. That was back in 2007.
But you know how life goes. You have this one actually perfect recipe and still, you just cannot keep yourself from modifying it. It’s not only because you’d like to bump it up a notch, but out of necessity: mostly because you ran out of an ingredient and substitute something else for it (pantry factor). Like a lime for a lemon. The next time you chose the lime on purpose, because you enjoyed the extra zing it provided. There you go, the evolution of an otherwise perfectly fine recipe.
Or you add a couple of spoons of your homemade vanilla sugar – just because the huge glass container was sitting right there on the counter the moment you stirred everything together (principle of contingency). And finally you add a generous splash of Aperol, because you feel adventurous (daredevil factor) and the result knocks you out of your shoes.
This is what happened to Robert’s/Marcella Hazan’s Arance. I really hope, they don’t mind my little twist, I only had the best intentions, I swear. But since freshly squeezed orange juice with Aperol is one of our favorite aperitifs, it probably was just a matter of time until Arance had to become Arance all’Aperol.
Anyway, now is the perfect time to get out there and buy the very best (blood) oranges and turn them into a huge bowl of flavorful citrus indulgence. You can always serve it with something creamy, may it be curd mousse, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, yet I never missed a thing when we served it plain, as is. Your guests might squint their eyes and look a little baffled, because nobody expects to be served a plain orange salad for dessert, and that’s exactly what it’s not. Believe me. And Robert. And Marcella.
Carefully peel and segment both oranges and blood oranges (a detailed description can be found here).
Put orange segments into a bowl and squeeze out the juices from the remaining membranes. Add vanilla sugar to taste (start with 1/2 tsp per orange fruit and adapt to taste), the zest of one lime (or lemon) and Aperol until the fruits are almost covered (rule of thumb: 1-2 tbsp per orange) and stir. Thoroughly cover the bowl with a lid or foil, then chill in the fridge, at least over night, better for a full 24 hours.
Serve on its own in cute glasses, decorated either with a fresh sprig of mint or a slice of lime. Or serve together with curd mousse, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream – the possibilities are endless.
Recipe source: inspired by Lamiacucina and Marcella Hazan
Prep time: ~15 minutes
Ingredients (for 2)
2 blood oranges
2-3 tsp preferably homemade vanilla sugar (or more to taste)
zest of 1 lime (or lemon)
4-6 tbsp Aperol
serve with fresh sprigs of mint or slice of lime or together with curd mousse, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream...