Happy Friday, baking gods and goddesses!
I hit the Little Italy Farmer’s Market in San Diego for the first time two weeks ago, and was so overwhelmed by the incredible bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, I didn’t even know where to look! Asparagus, strawberries, kale, citrus galore – I was in sensory overload and absolute culinary heaven. The first thing my eyes lit upon was the most vibrant, sunset-hued carton of ripe blood oranges, and I instantly snatched them up. I’ve been interested – but never dabbled seriously – in fruit preserving for years, and this seemed the perfect opportunity to give it a go.
This recipe is slightly labor intensive – blood oranges are notoriously messy – but well worth the extra effort. While it would be ideal to slice the oranges with a mandolin, I didn’t have any issues thinly slicing them with a knife. Make certain your marmalade reaches 220 degrees during the boiling process, and passes the plate/saucer/wrinkle test. Mine turned out a wee bit runny, but has been absolutely delicious on scones, and as a topping for vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
BLOOD ORANGE MARMALADE
Inspiration: Food in Jars
Yields: 4-5 half pint-sized jars
- 1 pound ripe blood oranges
- 3 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Wash blood oranges well, then dry. Trim away both ends and slice the oranges in half.
- Using a very sharp knife, trim away the core of the oranges and pluck out any seeds that you find. Set the cores and the seeds aside.
- Cut the orange halves into thin slices. Go as thin as you can manage (I recommend sharping your knife before starting this project). Finally, cut each sliced half in half again, so that you have a number of thin blood orange quarters.
- Bundle up the pithy cores and any seeds in a length of cheesecloth and tie it tightly so that nothing can escape. Put chopped oranges in a medium Pyrex bowl and cover with 3 cups water. Tuck the cheesecloth bundle into the bowl and cover with a length of plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight (this process helps break down the pith).
- When you’re ready to cook your marmalade, remove the cheesecloth bundle. Combine the soaked fruit and water with 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar. Add fruit-sugar mixture to a deep, wide-mouth pan set over medium-high heat. Bring the marmalade to a simmer and cook until it is reduced by more than half, reads 220 degrees F on a thermometer and passes the plate/sauce/wrinkle test (see link above). When the mixture has finished cooking, pour marmalade into sterilized, half pint jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars from water and place on a folded bath towel to cool to room temperature (lids will make a popping sound as they seal).