If there is a food that makes you get through the winter and feel alive, I'm certain that its this Blood Orange/Meyer Lemon Marmalade.
I'm making a huge batch of this today. Making marmalade is labour intensive but with great results. I've put a small batch recipe up as I'm making marmalade from whole cases of blood oranges and Meyers Lemons.
Fruit - 8 whole blood oranges, thinly sliced (4 cups cut)
3 whole Meyers lemons, thinly sliced (1 ½ cups cut)
Orange juice or Water - 4 cups of either. I use orange juice instead of water, for extra flavor.
Sugar - about 4 cups of sugar
1. Select the fruit
If you live in Florida or southern California you can go pick your own Oranges in January and February! Otherwise, you'll have to go to the grocery store for the oranges and lemons. This is NOT part of the Manitoba 100 mile diet. I went to F.O.O.D. for my organic Blood Oranges and Meyers Lemons.
Pick fresh oranges and lemons that are not soft, moldy or discolored.
2. Wash the fruit
Canning really requires everything to be clean.
3. Get the jars and lids washed
I rinse the jars and lids in the large pot of boiling water after washing. Leave them in the hot water for a few minutes.
4. Remove the outer part of the peel
Take a look at Step 10 - if you are going to use method 10a, then with a vegetable peeler, remove only the coloured part of the peel and set it aside. This outer portion of the peel is what give marmalade its bitter taste. If you like it, chop it finely and set it aside. I chopped it with a double mesa luna.
If you don't like the bitterness, then you are going to use the method Step 10b, so just then just peel the fruit with your hands as shown in step 5 (and skip step 4)
5. Remove the remaining rind
Hold the citrus fruit with the stem end up and using a very sharp knife, cut off the pith (white part)and discard.
6. Slice the oranges and lemons in half
Cut the fruit in half, across the segments.
The tough, white part in the center must be cut out and discarded.
Save any juice that leaks out.
7. Chop the oranges and lemons
Next, slice the two halves into thin slices
And then chop the slices up a bit! Remove and discard any seeds or tough parts of the orange that you find in the process.
Save any juice that leaks out.
8. Measure out the sugar
You'll need to follow the directions that come with the pectin, but generally, the lower sugar pectin recipes call for about 4 cups of sugar per box, and the regular pectin calls for 7 cups of sugar.
Mix the dry pectin with about 1/4 cup of sugar and keep this separate from the rest of the sugar.
9. Mix the chopped oranges with the pectin
Stir the pectin into the chopped fruit. Put the mix in a big pot and set aside for a moment.
10. Cook the fruit - With Peels or Not?
Peels add the bitterness to marmalade, but some people do not like marmalade because it is bitter.
10a. With the Peels:
Bring the mix to a boil. Cover it, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the chopped fruit and simmer for 10 minutes more.
10b. Without the peels
If you want a less bitter taste, skip the preceding and instead place the chopped fruit and 4 cups of water or orange juice in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes
11. Add the sugar and return to a boil
Add the sugar and bring the mixture back to a full boil.
12. Bring the mixture to a full boil
Stir the mix and bring it to a full boil, hard, for one minute.
13. Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on
Fill them to within 1/4 inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Then put them into the boiling water canner!
14. Process the jars in the boiling water bath
Keep the jars covered with at least 1 inch of water. Keep the water boiling. Boil them for at 15 minutes.
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight)
It may take up to two weeks for the marmalade to set and thicken up. It will be runny until then!
Once cooled, they're ready to store. They last about 18 months. After that, the marmalade gets darker in colour and starts to get runny. It is still safe to eat. So eat them in the first 12 to 18 months after you prepare them!
In Winnipeg, I've also seen Blood Oranges at DeLuca's Specialty Food Store, Restaurant, Catering, Cooking School 956 Portage Ave. Winnipeg, MB