Saturday, April 12, 2008

Crying over Spilled Marmalade

I am very ambivalent about the nature of the universe--Is there a greater being? Can we change our destiny or is it written in stone? Are there forces greater than yourself that can affect your life? What does this have to do with marmalade? Well, very sadly, this week I have had my wallet stollen and my computer harddrive with a good portion of my pictures of Belle (and all my blog pictures) died. This is not to mention a variety of other things that have made me feel grey and limp. (Two sad starts to entries, huh. When will Spring arrive on this blog?)

So, my point is that I no longer have all the pictures from Preservation Saturday that happened a few weeks ago. We had so much citrus--so much. And, so my gorgeous friend M--, my husband and I spend a great Saturday night drinking beer and putting food by. We made made different kinds of marmalades, Indian Pickles and pickled eggplant.

With started early with an easy recipe. Charcuterista has a good kumquat marmalade recipe. This was a very yummy recipe and we then used it to fill vegan linzer cookies using a rose water cookie recipe from Veganomicon (oh how I love you Veganomicon.)

After that, we went on to play with kumquats. I wanted to make the most of the pectin in the rind (I assume that is why Charcuterista's kumquat marmalade had no need of pectin). But, I wanted to have a sort of asian dipping sauce inspired marmalade. Rather I wanted something sweet, tart and spicy. I used pectin, limes, kumquats, a tiny pinch of five spice and star anise.

Then we got really fancy and decided to make orange marmalades. (Yes, this was a very long night.) We made a blood orange marmalade with black peppers. This was so lovely; slightly kick but mostly sweet. And, then an orange/meyer lemon marmalade with cardamom. This last one was a little odd, and not necessarily a success. It felt a little medicinal.

And, then it got spicy. We decided to make two Indian-style pickles. The first was a simple meyer lemon pickle using a recipe from Indian Food Rocks. The second was an orange pickle. I have never eaten orange pickle--or even heard of it--but there is only so much orange marmalade that you can consume (or give away.) I read a few different recipes and combined them. This resulting recipe involves some amount of fortitude. All of the spices need to be browned over heat. As pickles are said to cure for a few months, it is not as if I could taste this recipe and understand if the spice was right. Instead, I had to go by smell, and that sense really couldn't be trusted either. Because, well, the fumes of spices that traveled through the kitchen were halting. (My husband might say instead noxious.)

Just before the concoction was ready to be bottled, we tasted it. My husband, first to the tasting, was fairly convinced we had failed. It was bitter, spicy and strong. M-- just passed on the tasting phase all together. For me, I tasted it and extrapolated that this would be just right. It was unbalanced but had the right undertones that I have tasted in Indian pickles. In fact, I was so jazzed by the process that I went out an bought more canning jars.

Sadly, my recipes were basically lost in the computer death--so I can't even write about the eggplant pickle--it was rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and what else, who knows. But, I can put down a few basic recipes--though I am doing these from memory.
Kumquat/ Lime Marmalade
Wash and slice, very thin,
1 lbs kumquats
½ lb limes

Boil for 30 minutes in 5 C water with
½ cup lime juice

6.5 cups sugar
3 star anises/ stars of anise
½ tsp Chinese fivespice

Cook for another 45 minutes or so on medium. Add ¼ cup pectin, boil for 1 minute. Transfer to sterilized jars when marmalade is thick and hot. Sterilize jars according to package directions
Blood Orange Marmalade with Peppercorns
Wash and dry
2 meyer lemons
8 blood oranges

With a sharp paring knife, remove the rind of the citrus, and then juice all the fruit. With a sharp knife, slice the rind into thin slivers.

Boil the peels for 15 minutes in
1 cup of water in a heavy-bottomed pan and boil.

Boil for 20 minutes:

2 cups of juice from meyer lemons and blood oranges. (You might need to juice more fruit to get the right amount of juice.)
1 cup orange juice (ideally freshly squeezed)
½ cup pulp from the blood oranges

Add and then cook on medium for 35 minutes
6 cups sugar
6 peppercorns

Add and boil for 8 minutes
1 pkt pectin

Once the mixture has gotten thick, place the mixture when hot in sterilized canning jars. Makes 7-1 cup jars of marmalade.
Spicy Orange Pickle
Wash and then dice
4 medium oranges (leaving the skin on)

In a heavy bottom pan, sautee in olive oil for 2 minutes

1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black onion seeds
6 whole dried red chili pods
1 tsp asafetida powder
¼ cup chili powder
½ tsp haldi (turmeric) powder

Add and simmer for 15 minutes
cut oranges
4 green chilies
1 inch piece of ginger in long slender slivers
½ cup salt
2 cups waters

Once the mixture is cooked down and slightly cooled, add

¾ cup canola or mustard oil

Add the mixture to canning jars and then sterilize.


Amy said...

Sorry about your computer! Hope you and it feel better soon. Love your blog. Yum! Yum! Great photos too. You inspire me...

Pixie said...

That just sucks- I'm really sorry about the wallet and more so all the photos of your little girl!

I'm aiming on making a lime pickle- I can't seem to get enough of it and since starting the 'putting up' event it would make sense to make something I love. I'm amazed with how much work you did in one night±!

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Orange marmalade with peppercorns? :) That sounds very good to me... I must try some of your combinations, thank you for sharing!