Sunday, January 12, 2014

Marmalade

Marmalade is one of the cornerstones of civilized society. More sophisticated than jam, I associate it with  leisurely Sunday after mass breakfast, and, like Bath buns, a food that is intended for adults.  Its bitterness is definitely an acquired taste. We always had a jar on hand when I was growing up and my parents would make periodic trips to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, to buy Greaves marmalade; the only acceptable brand.  I didn't care for marmalade myself, but I recognized it as a food to be respected.  We never made trips anywhere to buy special jam and Smucker's grape was considered good enough for us kids.  

Last week I had a craving for marmalade and decided to make my own.  I made a tiny batch of the Cara orange marmalade from Food in Jars.

Marmalade is the ideal winter canning project because citrus is in season now.  You start by peeling the zest off your fruit with a vegetable peeler, and cooking it in water until it softens.  Then you cook the softened zest and water with sugar and your fruit, which you have separated from the pith and membranes.  Once it reaches the right consistency, you ladle it into jars and process in a hot water bath.

The recipe I used also calls for fresh ginger juice, which you make yourself by combining ginger and water in a food processor and then straining it through a sieve.  I haven't opened my marmalade yet, but when I was testing it to see if it was set, I thought to try some with a bite of dark chocolate. I love ginger + chocolate, and I love orange + chocolate, so ginger + orange + chocolate was divine.

Two oranges = two half pints (almost)
Unfortunately, I can't even eat it right now because I'm doing a food elimination diet to see if I have an allergy to something, so wheat is off my menu for a few weeks, although I could just eat it straight out of the jar with some chocolate.

What are your thoughts on marmalade?  Did you cook anything interesting this weekend?

8 comments:

  1. I bought a box of citrus from a CHS student in support of the band - and while we feel like we've eaten nothing but citrus for a month, we still have a full drawer full in the fridge. I've been kicking around playing around with some in this way....maybe I will....

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    1. You should! The process was easier than I expected it to be, although maybe that's because I made such a small batch.

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  2. Becky-
    CHS Band was selling citrus? Guess this didn't do enough advertising to the parents because my kids go to CHS and this is the first I've heard of it.
    --
    I'm not big on marmalade or any kind of jam, but my mother used to make what she called tomato marmalade. I can't remember if this was before or after her "French" dressing, which involved a can of tomato soup and was the reason I ate my salads un-dressed until I left home.

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    1. I didn't hear about it either, although I think I may have blocked emails from a certain person and now never get updates.

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  3. I love marmalade! It always makes me think of English cooking. This weekend I baked a brown sugar and chocolate chip pound cake with a maple glaze. This is the time of year when I love to be in the kitchen!

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  4. Perhaps I've never had GOOD marmalade, because I have no fond memory of trying it.

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    1. I think brand does matter. Smuckers, bless their hearts, makes orange marmalade, but I can't vouch for it. :)

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