Blood Orange Marmalade
After enjoying Seville orange marmalade right in Seville, Spain, I came home craving the chunky bittersweet marmalade for my morning toast or croissant. I brought some of the marmalade back with me but it’s now long gone. I planned to get some thick skinned oranges and make a batch of simple marmalade that I can put in jars and keep in the fridge (serious canning is not for me). However, when I went out to get oranges I found a pile of reddish hued blood oranges available and thought it would be fun to make the jam with blood oranges instead.
My idea of making jams and marmalade is cooking the fruits with some sugar and lemon and putting it in jars. I “sterilize” the jars in the dishwasher. It’s not the kind of jam you keep on the shelve in the pantry. I use all kinds of beautiful fruits available here in the summer and make small batches for immediate consumption. Some I give as gifts from my kitchen to visiting friends and family.
For orange marmalade I use the whole fruit without squeezing the juice out. The rind contains natural pectin that helps thicken the marmalade. I like the slightly bitter notes from the rind and pith and in any event I use the entire orange, minus the seeds and center pith.
I know the seeds can add pectin and all and you can add them to the pot tied up in a bundle of cheesecloth if you wish but I also know that (yawn) if I start to fuss too much I will lose interest and not do it at all. So this is a quick (relatively) marmalade recipe that you keep in clean jars in the fridge until gone. You can also give some to your friends. While you are cooking the marmalade don’t forget about it, you have to check and stir it frequently, especially towards the end. Last time I made it I got distracted and it burnt a beautiful batch of would be orange marmalade. My neighbour had to come in and console me. Thanks Marisa.
Nothing like the kitchen makes you feel that you are at home. Life is getting back to normal after an extended vacation in the Yucatan. We came back earlier than expected this year and haven’t opened up the rooftop patio for the season quite yet. The mornings are still too cool for sitting on patio with a warm cup of tea. It’s coming along though. The sky is beginning to look blue and the cloud cover that hovers over the valley all winter and into the spring is slowly beginning to lift. It is cozy inside with a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. There is something about water that is both calming and exciting. Can it be both? I am contemplating switching on the heater on the patio and sitting outside for a while, reminding it of my presence. I think a cup of tea and toast with blood orange marmalade are in order.
8 blood oranges, washed and dried
Juice of 1 lemon (zest the rind first and keep it in the freezer for another use
3 cups sugar
Cut the oranges in half.
Cut each orange half into half or if the orange is large cut each half into quarters from stem to flower end.
Slice each piece into thin slices as you see in the images.
Place all cut up oranges in a bowl and cover with cold water just to the top of the fruit. Cover and refrigerate overnight. See note below.
When you are ready to proceed pour the oranges and water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
You can add 1 teaspoon of oil to prevent the fruit from producing too much foam.
Once the water comes to a boil lower heat to a steady simmer and let cook about 1/5 hours stirring now and then and skimming any foam that may accumulate.
Once the fruit is soft and the water is reduced to just covering the fruit add the sugar.
Raise the heat again and bring to a boil watching it carefully.
Lower heat and cook until the sugar melts and the mixture becomes syrupy.
Don’t forget it on the stove. I did last time and burnt a beautiful batch of would be marmalade. My neighbour had to come in and console me.
Once done, transfer it into beautiful jars, close tightly and refrigerate.
Note: I have made this marmalade with and without the soaking step and like it either way.