Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Orange and Blackberry Marmalade

I've been trying to be better about making sure that I use up all of the odds and ends in the fridge lately, rather than finding myself pitching formerly useable food after I left it to spoil in the far corners of the crisper. Oh, the shame. It has certainly never been intentional but sometimes you lose sight of a lemon or bit of herbs or that last few baby zucchini. It takes a slightly concerted effort to adequately survey the fridge and plan accordingly but it's the right sort of effort that reminds you that food is not disposable and that sometimes the best bits of creativity stem from using what is at the ready, as opposed to running off to the shops.

This Orange and Blackberry Marmalade was just one of those bits of creativity. Nothing was yet spoiled but it was one of those situations where I didn't get through as much fruit as I had planned that week and was faced with a slew of oranges and berries on the edge. In avoiding a killer kanker sore, I opted to do something else with the oranges rather than set a bowl before myself and start peeling.

Now, this is not a very sweet marmalade. It gives you just a hint of sweetness but really leaves it to the sweetness of the fruit. It's more about the fruit in general. (Though I am convinced that, thinned out, this could be a decent glaze on meat.... thoughts?) Far be it from me to dictate how sweet your fruity concoctions should be. We eat more than enough sugar around here, so it feels good to me to reduce it here and the low sugar pectin allows for that. But tweak away! Add some honey or agave nectar for a more complex sweetness. Add some more sugar or brown sugar. Up to you.

The best thing to do is to taste your marmalade after it stews together a bit (maybe at the 40 minute mark or so) and decide if it suits your taste, keeping in mind that the orange rind may be a bit tough still. Just remember you're tasting for sweetness not doneness!

4 oranges
2 lemons
1-2 pints of blackberries
3 teaspoons vanilla paste (or a vanilla bean if you have one or just some regular vanilla, if you don't have paste)
1 cup sugar (again, please feel free to tweak the sweetness!)
4 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
A healthy pinch of cinnamon
1 package no sugar / low sugar pectin

Chop oranges and lemons. Let oranges stew with blackberries, 2 tsp vanilla paste, sugar, water and lemon juice for about 55 minutes.

At 55 minutes, add pectin and remaining 1 tsp of vanilla and cook for another 5 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl to cool or can in a water bath at this point.


6 thought(s):

Stephanie {Clockwork Lemon} said...

Yay for turning left over fruit into preserves! I did the very same thing this week with some strawberries that were getting pretty sad looking.

wannafoodie said...

Nice, Stephanie! Have you experimented much with herbs or more savoury additions to fruit jams? Like strawberry and balsamic? Or basil?

Anonymous said...

I was at work and had some blackberries ready to go south. I also had some duck confit. I thought hmm... why not make a nice sandwich of pulled duck confit with a blackberry marmalade for a spread on a toasted french baguette. Where to begin? Googled it and came to this site. Tweaked it a little and man o man.... killer sandwich! Thanks a bunch

wannafoodie said...

I am so thrilled to read this and a duck confit / blackberry marmalade sandwich sounds unreal. Thanks for visiting wannafoodie! I hope to read you here again.

Carole said...

Lovely berry marmalade. Berries and currants are this week's subject for Food on Friday. Would you be happy to link this in? We are looking to create a fantastic collection of berry dishes. This is the link .

Carole said...

Thanks for linking in, cheers.

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