I wanted to give a few of my Peace Corps volunteer friends a little holiday treat for being the awesome women they are so I was perusing one of my fave food sites, the Whole Foods Market online recipes (see blogroll link on right).
Having limited access to many foods, I needed to choose wisely. And as my volunteer budget is fiscally slim the recipe needed to go far on a wafer thin dime. Ginger Orange Marmalade fit the bill perfectly. You might be tisking me right now & shaking your head thinking “Wait a minute. You said you only buy local and aren’t those oranges you are buying coming from New Zealand?” Umm, well, yeah…. I’m busted. Perhaps a minute food hypocrisy, but for the sake of a tasty gift, I sacrificed my morals. Everything else was local and the jars were recycled….so I justified it.
I followed the recipe to the letter and found that the concoction needed to boil for just shy of an hour to thicken properly. It only filled three 8oz. jam jars, which is 1 shy of the promised yield. To the recipe’s defense the oranges I used were fairly small, but I did use 5 instead of 4. I also felt it could have used more ginger. The orange is so pungent and pronounced the ginger loses its pull, however my tongue did catch a few heated ginger bites. I would suggest at least another ½ tbsp to pump it up. Nevertheless, the final product as a gift is gorgeous especially with some nice fabric or ribbon used to embellish.
The taste you ask? Marmalade is always bitter-sweet, there is no way around it and if two cups of sugar isn’t good enough then I don’t know what is. But, this golden-hued gift was as bright in its flavor as your twinkling Christmas lights.
I had the idea to add a cinnamon stick in the pot but didn’t, I kind of wish I had. Adding some spice would crank up the “holiday” factor. A cinnamon stick, one star anise or a few cloves thrown in would have intensified the flavors. Next time I am going to do just that.
One suggestion though, don’t serve it on burnt toast like I did. Whoops! That’s what I get for cooking and blogging at the same time….
Thank you Whole Foods Market Online!
Ginger Orange Marmalade
4 navel oranges (8 to 9 ounces each), scrubbed and rinsed
1 quart water
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (I’d use 2 ½ tbsp)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
My 2 cents:
Add 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise and 3 cloves to the pot. Remove before placing in the jars to cool.
Chill a small plate in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, trim off and discard the ends from the oranges. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully remove the peel and pith from all of the oranges. Slice half of the peel (with pith attached) into very thin, bite-size strips and transfer to a large pot; discard remaining peel and pith. Thickly slice all of the oranges, discard any seeds and cut flesh into small pieces; transfer to pot with peel and pith. Add water, sugar, lemon juice, ginger and salt and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium high and boil, skimming off and discarding any foam on the surface and stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 45 minutes.
To test the marmalade for doneness, drop a teaspoonful onto the chilled plate, wait five seconds, and then run your finger through the center of the marmalade. When it’s thick enough, the trace of your finger should remain clear. If the marmalade runs back together, return the pot to the stove and the plate to the freezer and check again in a few minutes.
Ladle hot marmalade into jars, seal tightly, set aside until room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Per serving (about 2 tablespoons): 40 calories (0 from fat), 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 20mg sodium, 11g total carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 11g sugar), 0g protein