Sunday, 17 June 2012

Orange and Rosemary Marmalade

The last time I made jam was last year in September. I made a delicious apricot and orange marmalade, made enough to fill a whole big jar, could've lasted for a good couple of months. Then we hosted a party, i drank a bit too much, and gave my jam away. One of the many reasons why I've stopped drinking.  I become overwhelmingly friendly and feed people with everything I have.  I wake up to an empty kitchen, sad and confused.  See, even when under the influence of alcohol I am determined to make bellies happy. 

Orange marmalade is often a favorite for people -- it's the fact that it's not like other jams where it's overpoweringly sweet with just slight hints of the fruit flavor.  it's the layers of bitter, sweet and sour tastes that makes it so popular.  

I followed Nigel Slater's recipe with the addition of rosemary. I didn't know if I should add it in the beginning or at the end, so I added a sprig of it in the beginning to infuse overnight with the orange peel, but then at the end i added a bit more because I felt like the flavor didn't really come through.  Oh and I cut down the recipe, this makes a small jarful.  
4 seville oranges (or just good oranges)
1/2 lemon
300g sugar
2 sprigs of rosemary (or more if necessary.  Try it at the end and if you want more of the rosemary notes then add some fresh rosemary leaves to the jam at the end)

Using a knife, without cutting all the way through, score lines from the top of the fruit to the bottom.  Peel the peels away and cut into fine strands.  Squeeze the juice of the oranges into a bowl, reserving the pulp and pips.  Make the juice up to 1L liter with cold water.  Put in a bowl along with the peel.  Put the pulp, pips and rosemary in a muslin cloth, tie it, and put it in the bowl as well.  Set aside in a cold place and leave overnight.

The next day, put everything in the bowl into a small pot, make sure the muslin bag is pushed all the way to the bottom.  Bring to a boil and let it simmer for as long as the orange peel becomes soft and translucent.  Take out the muslin bag and try to squeeze out all the juice possible, putting the juice into the pot, along with the sugar.  Turn up the heat, bring it to a boil.  Skim off any froth that rises to the top.  Let it boil for at least 15 minutes.  Test if it's ready by putting a bit of the jam onto a plate, put the plate in the fridge for a couple of minutes, then if a thick skin forms on the jam, it's ready.  When you touch it with your finger, it shouldn't be sticky, in other words.  If it's not ready then let it boil for a couple of minutes more and test again.  Put into sterilized jars (sterilize jars by boiling them in water for a good couple of minutes).

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