For the next 12 months, I have the best excuse EVER to can. That’s right. Even better than “I like it”, “it completes me” and “I can eat it”. Tigress over at Tigress in a Jam is hosting a good old-fashioned can jam! Each month, a different blogger will announce the produce of the month, and all 140 participants have three weeks to post about their canning experience. Tigress will be posting a blog roundup the last Wednesday of each month. Now that’s what this bitch calls a party. This month’s theme: citrus! Now on to my blood orange port marmalade. I love blood oranges so much. Not only do they look awesome and play an important double entendre is the opening for a great tv show, Dexter, but they’re also like orange’s sweeter, less bitter cousin. And ever since I had a nasty run-in with orange juice and a $10 flagoon of cheap vodka in high school, when I taste orange (like in juice or marmalade), it sort of makes me nauseous. Thus, blood oranges were the choice for me for January’s can jam.
My blood oranges came from the Temescal Farmers Market in the East Bay (Oakland) and were roughly $3 a pound.
Making the jam was a simple process that involved a lot of zesting and juicing, and a bit of boiling. The hardest part was letting go of an entire cup of delicious 20 year tawny port…as a poor writer, I don’t come across my own bottle of port often enough!
I feel tough using blood oranges. Most words that have blood attached to them are things you generally do not want to mess with: blood diamonds, The Bloods gang, blood in general. Therefore, I declare that my use of blood oranges is that a sign that I’m bad-ass mother shut-yo-mouth.
The finished product!
Just a note–I doubled the recipe, and still only came out with two cups of marmalade. It is entirely possible I made a huge mistake, like overboiled my juice, but just wanted to warn you in case the same happens for you. What do you like to can in January? Bring it on, February. I can’t wait to can you! ~LTG! P.S. If you need a basic guide to canning, check out mine. ******************************************************
: Blood Orange Port Marmalade
: Adapted from: p. 78 Complete Book of Small-Bath Preserving by Topp & Howard
- 2 blood oranges
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup port wine
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 pint jars, cleaned and sanitized
- Using a microplane, zest all of the blood oranges and lemons and place inside a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan.
- Squeeze juice from lemon and blood oranges, and place inside of sauce pan. Add any blood orange pulp to the pan, along with the water and wine. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, then cover and boil gently for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the sugar, bring mixture to a boil and boil hard, uncovered until mixture forms a gel*, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Ladle into hot jars and process for 10 minutes as directed in this post.
- Makes two cups
- To test if the mixture can form a gel, place a plate in the freezer for ten minutes. When you think the mix is ready, remove it from heat, place a spoonful on the frozen plate and return to freezer for two minutes. If the mixture moves on the plate like liquid, it needs more time. Place pot back on heat for another two minutes and test again. If it moves slowly and looks thick, it has formed a gel.