It’s a cold, rainy gray day. The holidays are over, all the baking of Christmas cookies, the special breads and rich desserts with their exotic warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom is done. What a wonderful,delicious time it was! The Danish Cookies, the Mincemeat Tarts, the Stollen, after all that perhaps we all feel a wee bit overindulged? Maybe.
But still there is this wintery day and the many gray days to come, we need to refresh our palates with something light, to spark some brightness into the January gloom. Lucky for us nature provides, citrus is in season! The fresh tart-sweet tangy flavors of lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit are here. They are in season in the warm climates of the country and have shown up in the market just in time to brighten winter doldrums.
We love to introduce these flavors into our baked goods and give people a change from the spice laden richness of the holidays. A tangy Lemon Curd topping a cheesecake, a Lime Tart adapted from an old NYT recipe, a treasured recipe for Satsuma Marmalade from a good customer, the list is endless. The great thing about citrus is the many ways to incorporate the flavors. We zest rind into cake batters and scones, we squeeze fresh juice and sweeten it to pour over a hot pound cake then glaze with tart icing. We make curds of all sorts to fill tarts and cakes and we cannot make enough Lemon Sandwich Cookies to meet the demand. Everyone smiles an “orange slice” smile with citrus on the menu this time of year.
While you might not find these fruits at your local farmers market, chances are your local food co-op has a nice selection of organic fruits. I encourage purchasing organic citrus so you can use the zest without concern (if using conventional citrus be sure to wash it well if using the rind or zest). Often these specialty stores will have heirloom varieties not found in a conventional store and you might discover something wonderful like the Pixie variety of mandarins, super good sweetness!
Here’s some photos from when I made this marmalade:
Check out our video of bubbling marmalade!
In remembrance of Diane Brin, the Garden Witch.
- 4 lbs Satsuma oranges
- 1/4 c. fresh Lemon Juice
- 6 c. Sugar
- 1/4 tsp. butter
- 2 T. Bourbon
- Wash and peel the Satsumas. Cut the peel into very thin strips about 1
- inch long, reserve the flesh. Boil the peel for 10 minutes in 4 cups of
- water. Drain and add 2 cups fresh water. Puree the orange flesh and
- lemon juice and add to the peels, bring to a full boil. Add the sugar and
- butter and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until 220 degrees.
- Add bourbon, ladle into hot jars, seal. Boil 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
- Remove and cool.
- The bourbon is the key here, while it can be omitted, it does enhance the
- flavor of the marmalade remarkably.
- Marmalade and other jams and jellies are simple to make, as long as you
- follow the basic rules of preserving…your kitchen must be super-clean.
- Mason or Ball jars must be sterilized. And finally, recipes for preserving
- should be followed exactly.
- This recipe is in remembrance of Diane Brin, the Garden Witch, a wonderful customer from Corvallis who sadly died of complications from lung cancer in October. She shared this recipe and other wonderful things and I miss her but smile each time I remember something she taught me.
Featured Image by jules (orange marmalade-3) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons