Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm sad to say, I don't really like citrus fruit that much. It's just not my favorite. I do like clementines, but I'm not such a fan of oranges or grapefruits. Citrus-flavored things, on the other hand, I do enjoy. I keep seeing these beautiful blood oranges at the store, and since it's nearing the end of citrus season I finally decided I should find some way to use them. Marmalade!

I generally knew what marmalade was, but upon a little research discovered that marmalade is a fruit preserve made of citrus fruit, sugar, and water, and it incorporates zest and/or peel. So there you go. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't an easy project. It's simple, but labor and time intensive. But, no job = time to make marmalade on a Wednesday afternoon. I found this recipe online, but it's from Country Living's Country Morning Cookbook. Yee-haw! Here goes...

5 blood oranges
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

Rinse the oranges thoroughly. Using vegetable peeler, remove orange part of peel in strips from oranges. Cut strips into 1-by 1/8-inch strips. With knife, cut off all white membrane, or pith, from peeled oranges.

Cut peeled oranges crosswise into 1/4- inch-thick slices. Remove the seeds as you slice through the oranges. In heavy nonaluminum 5-quart kettle or Dutch oven, combine orange peel, sliced fruit, and water. Cover and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours.

Heat orange mixture to boiling over high heat, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until orange mixture is very soft, about 1 hour.

Add sugar to orange mixture and increase heat to medium-high; stir until sugar dissolves. Heat to boiling and reduce heat just so mixture boils gently. Boil uncovered, stirring frequently, until candy thermometer registers 220 degrees F., 45 to 60 minutes.

A few notes: this recipe is actually for lemon marmalade, but I wanted to make orange. You can use whatever...oranges, lemons, grapefruits, or limes. Just make sure the ratio of fruit to water/sugar is the same as this recipe. The original recipe called for 10 large lemons, 4 cups water, 4 cups sugar. I figured since blood oranges are a little smaller than regular oranges, one would be about equal to a large lemon. And as you can see I cut the recipe in half.

So after 60 minutes of cooking the orange mixture with the sugar, it still wasn't looking good. Maybe I had the heat too low, not sure, but I increased it a bit, added a little bit more sugar, and let it cook for another 20 minutes. When it's ready, it's not going to look like marmalade in a jar...because it's hot and melty. If you don't have a candy thermometer (which I don't), spoon a little bit onto a cool plate and stick it in the fridge for a few minutes and see if it's becoming gooier and less watery. Very scientific descriptions. But keep in mind once you put it in a container and put it in the fridge, it's going to set and become more gel-like. This recipe made about 3 cups of marmalade.

And...the finished product. It has a slight bitter taste, due to the peel. This is apparently the British version of marmalade - more peel/zest, which the American version has less so it's sweeter. Anyway, I had it on some toast and it tasted great. I think it would be really good on some pork chops...

Here's another marmalade recipe that looks pretty good (but a little fancier), from New York Magazine this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment