Friday, March 4, 2011

Of citrus and blueberries

Ahh, my first day off from work and it feels GREAT! I had a to-do list that I made last night of things I wanted to accomplish, but of course Life got in the way, and it didn’t happen the way I had wanted to. But no matter, I still got some things done (my bathroom is sparkling clean). Amongst that, I completed my marmalade and am quite happy with the results!
This is the first time that I make marmalade (not being a huge fan of it myself) but I had some leftover oranges in the fridge that weren’t going anywhere fast, and this blog gave me the idea to do so. Along with the recipe and technique that the blog explains, I researched it and pulled together facts that coincided between recipes and what my own judgement and cooking reasoning told me would work. I learnt that marmalade (just like jam) can be made with a variety of different cooking apparatus (think microwave, oven, stovetop, slowcooker, bread machine, etc). Although there are varied opinions, I'm a believer in using mainly old-school methods, so I stuck to stove-top, but might try it out again in the slow cooker next time.
Also, most recipes call for between 3-5 cups of sugar, which I think is enormous and redundant, as I want the natural sweetness in oranges to come through for me rather than mask any taste by rendering it sickly sweet. Blegh.
But this citrus marmalade is anything but blegh. Although it’s still got some quirks I want to iron out, it’s a fine beginning and produces a great spread that can be used on toast or an English muffin, or maybe with meats such as chicken. It’s a three day simple process that is worth waiting out the days to take out the bitterness in the peels of the citrus.
·         6 large ripe oranges
·         1 lemon
·         1 cup of white sugar
·         Enough unsweetened orange juice to cover the fruit, I used about 3 cups
·         3 tsp of freshly grated ginger
1.       Wash the fruits thoroughly. Cut a thin slice of the bottom off of each fruit. Peel 3 out of 6 oranges. Cut the peeled oranges into quarters, then into pieces roughly equal in size and discard the pith between the segments (that’s the white stuff on the inside of the peel and the middle of the orange). Discard all seeds. Cut the peel into very thin slices, as thin as you can slice, then cut lengthwise to make little squares. Add this to a pot for the stovetop.
2.       Take your other three oranges (with the peel still on them) and cut them into quarters, discard all seeds, then slice them very thinly. Add these to the other oranges in the pot.
3.       Grate the lemon until the peel is mostly off, then cut it into chunks, then add to the pot.
4.       Add the water to the pot until the fruit is covered, cover and set aside.
5.       24 hrs later, boil the fruit, occasionally stirring, for about 30 mns. The rinds should be tender. Cool, then cover and set aside.
6.         24 hrs later, add the sugar, and grate and add the ginger. Mix, then boil the fruit again until the mixture gels, about 30 mns.

Citrus Marmalade and Blueberry Jam

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