Sunday, 5 June 2011

Heavens Preserve Us!

Marmellata di Arancia e Rosmarino
Freshly Made Orange & Rosemary Marmalade

People are people so they say... well you know, we are not all the same. I am one of 9 siblings and I think the only one of us that really loves fruit. I would love to tell you that I made this marmalade with oranges from my dad's garden, whilst visiting in Sicily. The truth of the matter is that neither my mom, nor my sister, seem to get so excited about having orange trees just outside their kitchen door! Neither of them are that crazy about fruit and the only person out there who would love to just pick one from the tree and enjoy a wonderful, juicy, all-natural orange would be my poor dad... who can't eat them on account of his diabetes. So I got thinking that I should make a marmalade with a fraction of the sugar- just enough to enjoy for one breakfast. Sounds a little crazy, right?
Well it IS- but it is also crazy GOOD...

Of course it is the sugar in our marmalade that makes it into a preserve, that will make it keep for long periods of time. And sure, the sugar makes it sweet and tasty. But we have such wonderfully sweet juice oranges at the moment, that I just got thinking that there must be a way to make use of that natural sweetness and still be able to get a nice result. With only one teaspoon of sugar per orange, I came up with this idea to make a wonderful, hot breakfast jam and apart from a little prep-work the night before, it was still done in only a half an hour. 

I am not suggesting you make this every morning, but when you have time to make an indulgent breakfast some weekend- this little addition will make it just that little bit more special.

 The prep-work I mentioned is very simple. You need to peel your oranges and then chop the peel up- how fine or how coarse is a matter of personal preference. Now pop that peel into a cup and cover it with boiling water, let it sit for 2-3 minutes, pour off the water and repeat. Do this 3-4 times until the peel is softer and has lost it's bitterness. While that is happening, you can chop up the remaining orange into small pieces. Heat up a small frying pan and boil up some water in a separate saucepan. Once the pan is hot, add a teaspoon of sugar and the orange peel. As soon as the sugar starts to melt and caramelize, add the chopped orange and stir. The orange juice and the sugar in the pan will begin to form a lovely caramel. Now add your finely chopped rosemary and a little bit of hot water- just enough to loosen up the bits of orange in the pan. I added a little star anise to mine and a hint of chili- I am sure a dash of whiskey or Cointreau would have been wonderful too. Of course you shouldn't add anything like that if you have children. on the other hand, it may just make them that little bit calmer after breakfast... something to consider if you make it on a Sunday morning...

So the rest of it is simple- it is almost like making a risotto: just add a dash of hot water, give it a stir until the water has evaporated and repeat the procedure. Mine too around 20 minutes until everything was cooked through and soft. Of course it does depend on the sweetness of your particular oranges how much sugar you need and you may have to add some more- but you could also try honey as an alternative I'm sure. I spooned mine straight onto a toasted rye bread roll and enjoyed it hot... delicious!

Remember- this won't keep for months like a real marmalade, but I feel confident it would be fine for 3-4 days if kept refrigerated. Then again... it probably won't be around that long that you need to worry about it...


No comments:

Post a Comment