Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blood Orange Marmalade or How We Reconnect Without the Cell Phone

Collaborating on this website via cell phone and email has some limitations and it is not quite as much fun as face to face updating. Pam and I had a laundry list of website fixes, additions and updating to do that is easier to do together. So she packed up her brand squeaking new (well, maybe not squeaking) car and drove to Boston. Among her camera gear and baggage, she brought up some blood oranges so we could make marmalade. She has been having blood orange fever! I made a big pot of soup for us to have so we could concentrate on our matters at hand. We made a list and checked it twice. Amazingly, we focused and were able to cross off every last chore all while making wonderful Blood Orange Marmalade. We even had time to socialize with friends. Our friend Lisa had us over for the most wonderful dinner and gave us new ideas for another blog. So much to eat and so little time! We were still stuffed the next morning, but made room for tea and an English muffin with our yummy Blood Orange Marmalade before Pam headed back home.

Blood Orange

10 Moro Blood Oranges
2 lemons
7 cups sugar
5 cups water
1 cup pomegranate cherry juice, or 1/2 cup of each
3 plates, placed in the freezer for checking the gel

Prepare jars and lids by boiling for 5 minutes. Remove from water, drain and let cool.
Scrub oranges and lemons well. Cut oranges into quarters, pulling flesh from the inside cavity. Halve the lemons and juice them. Reserve the juice. Remove pith remains and discard.
Slice lemon and orange rinds thinly. Give the flesh a rough chop.
Cover the rinds and orange flesh in lemon juice and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight. This will allow the pectin to seep from the rinds, ensuring a firm gel.

If it is cold outside, you may place the whole pot in a secure place to cool.
Remove from the refrigerator, stir in the pomegranate cherry juice and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Cook until the thickest peel is tender, about 15 minutes. Add the sugar and stir well to dissolve. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Boil for about 30 minutes until the mixture reaches about 225 degrees on a candy thermometer. Stir often to prevent scorching. As it starts to thicken, stir continuously so it doesn't stick on the bottom. Be careful! It spits! If your marmalade does scorch, don't scrap the bottom of the pan. This will prevent the burn from flavoring the marmalade.

To test for doneness, drop a spoonful on a frozen plate. If it is still runny, keep boiling.
If it sets, has a film, or wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it's done.
Immediately spoon into jars, wipe rims clean and seal with lids. When cool, refrigerate. Store refrigerated up to 1 month.

Makes 13, 8 ounce jars.

As a caution, prepare this jam without kids and pets around. Try to reduce distractions and be prepared to give it your full attention.

Written and photographed by Diane and Pam

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