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Marmalade is much easier to make than most people presume (particularly made in small batches like this one). There are plenty of recipes dedicated to making jams and jellies with low sugar content. This is not one of those recipes. Marmalade is traditionally a sugar preserve — so I make no apologies about the sugar content of this recipe. This is a very elemental, traditional use of the naturally occurring pectin present in citrus to turn it into a delicious preserve. That’s right: no powdery packets of pectin, no guessing about whether the acid and sugar content will be just right to make the pectin gel. With fruit, sugar and a little time you can make an irresistible marmalade. You can swap out other citrus fruit for the blood oranges to vary the recipe. (Meyer lemons are intoxicating.) It is fantastic swirled into plain yogurt– a much cheaper alternative to individual flavored yogurts.
My instructions call for just a sharp knife, but if you happen to have a juicer, then by all means use it. Just be sure to grate the peel before juicing. I use a coarse grater to grate my peel — I love biting into a robust strip of peel. If you prefer a more delicate texture, then you can use a zester.
3 Blood Oranges
2 c. Sugar
Pinch of salt
2 c marmalade
Using a coarse grater, grate the outer layer of the peel from all of the oranges and lemons. Set Aside.
Using a very sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of each orange and lemon. Set the fruit upright (on the flat surface that you just cut). To remove the rest of the the outer skin and pith, cut strips of the skin away from the fruit, following the curve of the fruit. So start with one strip cut top to bottom. Then follow right behind cutting the peel away in 1/2″ strips, until you have worked your way around the entire fruit. Discard the trimmings of pith and skin. Slice the skinned fruit into 1/2″ thick rounds.
Place the cut fruit and sugar in a large stainless steel stockpot. Place the pot over high heat and stir. Stir vigorously to break up the fruit. At this point you really only care about breaking up the fruit. When the fruit is thoroughly mushy, turn off the heat and pour the fruit and sugar mixture through a sieve. (If you are juicing the fruit, you can skip this step and go straight to cooking the marmalade)
Add the reserved peel to the fruit and juice mixture and pour back into your stock pot. Place over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down to medium/low. At this point you are essentially waiting for liquid to evaporate. You will need to stir the marmalade frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The mixture will begin to thicken after several minutes of boiling. To test the consistency of the marmalade, drip a little bit off of your spoon onto a cold, ceramic plate. The ceramic will cool down the test very quickly and you will be able to see what texture your marmalade is. Remember that the pectin will continue to firm up for a day or two in the fridge, so you should stop cooking your marmalade while it is still a little runnier than you want the finished marmalade to be.
In the refrigerator for several months. Of course you can sterilize and seal this recipe in jars too, but stored in the refrigerator there is no need for these additional steps.
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