“I mean if it were me, I’d add one tablespoon of bitters to EACH half pint… mmm!” If you haven’t gotten word of the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge yet then you may be wondering why I’m going marmalade crazy. Specifically booze marmalade crazy. I apologize in advance to all the food swap’ers at this month’s Bull City Food Swap. Guess what you’re getting? 🙂 Typically, I never make marmalade. But after this batch, I’m beginning to question why. It’s like eating candy out of a Ball Jar. After last week’s lemon vermouth marmalade experiment, I decided to play it safe with something a bit more attainable. Since moving to Durham, I have came to love the flavor of bitter cocktails. Perhaps it’s the creativity, or the wide range of craft bitters created right here in the Triangle, or maybe it’s just the bartenders…
Anywho, for this month’s marmalade challenge I present to you blood orange marmalade finished with Angostura bitters. Depending on your preferences, I’d suggest adding 3-5 tablespoons of bitters. Adding the bitters right before the set point ensures that the flavor of the bitters doesn’t burn off. With the expected bitter flavors exhibited by the orange rinds this marmalade delivers a perfect bitter sweet punch. Enjoy!
- 3 pounds blood oranges
- 6 cups white sugar
- 8 cups water
- 3-5 Tbsp Angostura bitters
- Give the oranges a good scrub and place them in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cover them with the water and set the pot on the stove over high heat. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and put the lid on the pot.
- Simmer the oranges until the rinds are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork (approx. 45-60 minutes).
- Remove the pot from the heat and let the oranges cool completely.
- When the oranges are cool, remove them from the pot. Measure out 6 cups of the cooking water and reserve it.
- Cut the oranges in half across their mid-section, the way you would a grapefruit. Using a spoon, scoop the interior flesh out into a bowl. Remove the seeds and discard them. Put the seeded pulp into the bowl.
- Cut each half into 4 wedges and then cut those wedges into thin strips.
- In large-sized, non-ionized pot, combine the reserved cooking water, the orange pulp, the zest ribbons, and sugar. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook at a controlled boil, stirring regularly until the volume in the pot has reduced by about half.
- Monitor the temperature of the cooking fruit using an instant read thermometer. The marmalade is done when it reaches 220F.
- Right before 220F stir in angostura bitters. When it reaches set point (use plate method), remove the pot from the heat.
- Pour marmalade into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims, apply the lids and rings (finger tight), and process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool for 12-24 hours.
- Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year.
Recipe adapted from Food in Jars.