A small mistake in the grocers yesterday has turned out to be a delightful one, I picked up a net of “citrus fruits” from the “small oranges for juicing” section of the shelf as we have been indulging in the joys of freshly squeezed oranges here to offset the cold and wintry weather. When I cut the first one this morning I realised that the small print on the label (unreadable sans reading glasses which I do not wear when shopping) also said Blood Oranges. I have a slightly squeamish view of blood oranges since seeing a school friend cutting one open and simultaneously cutting her thumb but that was forty odd years ago and eight oranges are too good to waste. I don’t fancy blood orange juice for breakfast but … blood orange marmalade might work. A quick internet hunt and I had a recipe which included, would you believe, eight oranges! I began the marmalade making process as far as the “simmer for two hours on a low heat ” and shoved the pan into the oven while I began dismantling my bike to send to a knitting pal in Fife who will make better use of it than I can. Front wheel removed, check; handlebars turned, check; pedals removed …not a chance, I’ll have to wait for the boy to return and appeal to his expertise and superior strength.
Back to the marmalade while chatting to my sister on the phone, they are still snowed in but the thaw is coming and our conversation was punctuated by ” drip, drip” as the snow was melting in the sunshine.
My version of the recipe is as follows
8 blood oranges, 2 .5 litres of water 1.5kg sugar
Remove the top layer of the peel of the oranges using a potato peeler, slice into fine strips. Remove the white pith from each orange then squeeze the oranges saving all the pips. Put the pips and white pith in to a Pyrex jug and pour over 0.5 l boiling water, leave to soak. Put the juice, any membranes and peel into a preserving pan with the juice of a lemon. Add the lemon pips to the Pyrex jug. Pour 2l of water into the preserving pan and bring to the boil on the top of the stove. Put pan into the baking oven for about 2 hours. When the 2 hours are up, boil the lemon and orange pips and pith and water in a small pan for 10 minutes and strain all the liquid into the preserving pan, the liquid should be cloudy and thick as it contains the pectin.
Warm the sugar and tip into the preserving pan and bring back to the boil on top of the stove. Boil at a rolling boil for about 20 minutes to achieve a set then leave to cool for 15 minutes and put the marmalade into jars.