Welcome to my shiny new blog! I hope that you keep reading and maybe try out a few of the recipes and projects that will be appearing here. Check back often- 2011 should be a pretty action packed year. Anyway, enough with the introductions, time to make some marmalade!
So, Reader, since we’re just getting to know each other, a few basics first- If you want your jam to be really, really amazing the key is to get your hands on the highest quality, freshest fruit at the peak of the season. Avoid grocery stores like the plague. Fruit should come from your own garden, your neighbor’s tree, a farmer that you know, or a local farmers market. While buying local and organic is certainly very trendy right now, the reason to seek out this produce is really flavor. Ethically, it is important to support small farms, cut down on your carbon footprint, etc., but the fact of the matter is that this fruit is just going to taste infinitely better. If you were to do a blind taste test, the local, in season produce will win every time. You’ll really know it’s time to make marmalade when you’re at the farmers market and you can actually smell the oranges and grapefruit before you can see them.
Even though I live in California, it’s the dead of winter right now- pouring rain, freezing cold, dark at 4:30 pm. I am dying to get on a plane and go somewhere exotic, where I will need a passport, sunblock, and a little book to translate common phrases like “this is the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen” and “why yes, freshly caught lobster sounds lovely,” or “a cocktail would be wonderful, thank you.” This marmalade is a little jar of happy intentions and new year’s resolutions to travel a little bit more and work in the garden a little bit less. Oh, and it’s totally delicious, floral, citrusy and exotic.
How to Prepare Fruit For Marmalade
Of course you must start with sharp knives:
This can get kind of tedious here. You might want to drink a beer or something to make it more fun. Take your time and do a good job though, and you’ll be happy about it later when your friends are praising your excellent marmalade-making skills.
Repeat with all the fruit. (Dream of tropical vacations!)
Cut off the ends and the white part of the fruit. Use your knife to separate the fruit from the membrane.
Chop the wedges into small pieces. Put them into your pot.
Pomelo Marmalade with Cardamom and Rosewater
- 1 large pomelo
- 2 oranges
- 2 meyer lemons
- 1 tsp. rosewater
- 2 c. water
- 1 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/8 tsp. saffron (use either Spanish or Mexican depending on your budget)
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 5 c. sugar
- 3 tsp. Pomona’s calcium water
- 4 1/2 tsp. Pomona’s pectin powder
- Fill your canner with water and bring it to a boil. Wash jars and lids. Put jars on a cookie sheet in the oven at 150 degrees until you are ready to fill them.* Put the lids in a bowl and cover with boiling water from the canner.
- Wash fruit thoroughly.
- Make calcium water (see instructions inside Pomona’s box). Measure 4 1/2 c. of sugar and set aside in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the other 1/2 c. sugar with the pectin powder and whisk well, making sure to avoid any clumps of pectin powder. Set aside.
- Using a small sharp knife or veggie peeler, remove outermost layer of the rind from the fruit, avoiding the white as much as possible.
- Working in batches, make small stacks of the colored rind and julienne into thin strips.
- To prepare the fruit for cooking, cut off the white rind, exposing the fruit inside. Using a sharp paring knife, cut in between the membranes and each section of fruit, and lift out each wedge. Chop the prepared wedges, and set aside. (See illustrations below, in “How to prepare fruit for marmalade”
- Squeeze 1 c. fresh orange juice.
- In a large, nonreactive pot, combine the prepared fruit and rinds, 2 c. water, 1c. orange juice, 6 green cardamom pods, 2 tbs. rosewater, and 3 tsp. calcium water. Cover, and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until rinds are soft (about 30 minutes).
- Turn heat to medium high and stir in 4 1/2 c. sugar. Bring to a boil, and then stir in the pectin-sugar mixture. Bring to a full, rolling boil and cook for 1-2 minutes. (Marmalade will reach sheet stage)
- Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/8 inch headspace. Wipe rims clean and screw on lids. Process for 5 minutes.
yield: about 8 half pint jars.
*It is not really necessary to sterilize your jars in the oven, since they will be processed later. I’ve had jars crack in the canner when they weren’t hot though, so now I always do it. Hot jam, hot jars, hot water seems like the way to go.
- Heat 1/2 c. marmalade with a few teaspoons of butter and a little chicken broth to make a sauce for sauteed chicken breasts, top with slivered almonds.
- Mix with couscous (add the marmalade to the cooking broth). Garnish with chopped cilantro and toasted pine nuts.
- Marinade for grilled lamb skewers (whisk together equal parts marmalade and olive oil, add a dash of mustard or vinegar for more acid). Serve with olives and pita bread.