Spiced Blood Orange Marmalade
Blood oranges are one of those things when they are good, they are really good and when they are bad, well…. they are not that great.
I’ve been stalking the markets lately in hopes of finding some and yesterday I found some a the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. I was so excited the moment I saw them. If you have never had a blood orange, you must try one if you get the chance! When picking a good one, look for the reddish blush of color on the outside skin, if you don’t see any reddish hue; seek out another one. When they are ripe, they are really sweet. They are great sectioned into salads and when juiced, they yield a pretty ruby red color. One of the great ways to enjoy one is juice one and add to a glass with ice and fill with either sparkling soda, lemon-lime soda or skip the ice and replace with chilled champagne.
I was in the mood for making marmalade but not the conventional way that takes a while and is a lengthy process. I found this recipe in the cookbook Dolce Italiano by Gina De Palma. Her recipe uses pink peppercorn and coriander seeds but I decided to go a different route and used cardamom, vanilla and cinnamon. The beauty of this recipe is that it is a small batch and it does not require too much effort. I like to call it “Lazy man’s marmalade”.
Spiced Blood Orange Marmalade (recipe adapted from cookbook: Dolce Italiano by Gina De Palma)
yield: About 2 cups
3 Medium blood oranges
2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup blood orange juice
1/2 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ( I used one meyer lemon and 3 small lemons to equal 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom
Wash the oranges well. Slice the oranges with their skin into rounds, then cut the slices into small, even dice.
Notice the orange on the left side of the board; this one is a good example that is not that sweet; the skin on the outside did not have hardly any red hue to it and you can see the flesh inside is not red.
Place the diced oranges in a large saucepan, then add the sugar, blood orange juice, and lemon juice. Stir well. Add in the vanilla bean paste, cinnamon and cardamom. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the marmalade to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture from scorching.
Cook the marmalade until the peel of the oranges is tender and translucent and the liquid is thick and syrupy, about 30 minutes. Allow it to cool before storing in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated.
p.s. I think this would be amazing spread on biscuits the next time you serve fried chicken, pull this out!