Thursday, February 20, 2014

Recipe : Blood Orange Marmalade {with a dash of Campari}

Recipe blood orange marmalade
Blood orange marmalade with Campari recipe
When life gives you oranges, make orange marmalade {or marmalade tart} …
Of all winter citrus fruit, blood oranges are by far my favorite. More tart and aromatic than the average orange, I also love the different shades of color each fruit flesh reveals: from sunny orange to rich crimson to dark purple tones - there seems to be an endless range of sunny color variations.
And with only a very short window of availability each winter, here is my favorite fix to stock up on blood orange flavor & color year-round …

the ingredients.
~ fresh blood oranges
~ water
~ granulated sugar
   {ratio: equal parts processed fruit, water & sugar}
~ optional: a dash of Campari

Wash the oranges in warm water, rubbing the skins to take off any wax coverings {especially if you cannot find organic oranges}.

Trim the tops and bottoms from the blood oranges, reserving the peel caps.

Bi-Rite blood orangesMake blood orange marmalade at home

With a sharp knife cut the orange peel lengthwise into thirds or quarters and carefully peel the fruit.

Here is what makes citrus marmalade different from other fruit jam: for an added layer of flavor {& a dash of bitterness}, you want to add the citrus peel, which needs to soften - and here's how:
place the orange peel in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and slowly bring to a boil.
Boil over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Drain. Return the saucepan to the stove, cover with fresh cold water and boil for another 10 minutes. Drain again {& repeat a third time, if peel is not soft to the touch}.

Let the peel cool for a few minutes. Take a small spoon and carefully scrape away all white pith from inside each peel segment.


Now stack a few peel segments and with a sharp knife cut into very fine julienne strips:

Recipe for blood orange marmalade

While the peel is boiling, separate the orange segments from the membrane.  Save juices and squeeze the membranes to remove any additional juice, collecting juice and segments in a large saucepan. Discard the membranes. 

Add the julienned peel and enough water to cover segments & peel. Slowly bring the saucepan to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until the peel is very soft - about 30-40 minutes. Test the peel by pressing between two fingers. 

Pour in water a cup at a time {make sure to keep count!} until the fruit is just covered. Bring back to boiling. Now gradually stir in the sugar {same amount of cups as water previously added} and heat up to a strong boil. Stir!

For the perfect marmalade fruit/sugar ratio, I add the same amount of sugar as water {not too sweet, not too bitter}. And if the batch turns out too sweet, adding some Campari will bring back the bitterness.

While boiling and stirring, keep an eye on the consistency : the marmalade will begin to gel after about 10-12 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes, then pour into sterilized glasses & seal.

Voila, bright year-round citrus sunshine in a glass :)

Homemade blood orange marmaladeblood orange marmalade recipeBlood orange marmalade with Campari

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