Thursday, June 2, 2011 is only skin deep....

"Pass the Maaa ma lade dahling" as Grandma would say...As I cringed at the thought of getting down that lumpy sour, bitter ,weird stuff on toast during tea time. Blech.
Then I grew up.....
Thanks to a bright housewife in Scotland. An18th century either Spanish or Portuguese (depending on who you ask) ship carrying a cargo of "forbidden fruit"sheltered from a nasty squall off the coast of Scotland at Dundee. The ship off loaded the citrus to a shop keeper , a Mr.Keiller. Well after selling the citrus the housewives were not pleased(don't fuck with a Scottish womans food, just ask Boy Racer)for they were bitter,unsweet and nasty. Rather waste, in true thrifty Scottish fashion Mrs. Keiller attempted a batch of preserves and POOF the birth of orange marmalade.
                                               There are a kazillion marmalade recipes out there so go for it..yet not much on technique and there is a bit needed for a good marmalade run so here you go ......
  1.  Citrus; never discard pith or pips,flavour bombs and essential in the process of setting your preserve.
  2. Simmer down darling time is on your side, cook your peels very slow and steady. Tender is the word of the day and after you introduce sugar tenderizing will cease.
  3. In fact, if you don't slow your simmer role after adding sugar the peels will become even tougher. bleck.
  4. To test your simmered peels for doneness let the peel become blood temp (don't want trip to burn ward) take a piece between thumb n forfinger-you should be able to rub the peel to almost nothing.
  5. Blood temp is 98.6 body temp your fingers can handle it unless you are like me and have asbestos fingers from a career in the kitchen.
  6. BUT.....having said all that about a properly cooked peel , there is no good virtue in over cooking , for that will murder the color and flavour of your marmalade.
  7. Hey sugar sugar be my sweet cheeks of low heat. Uhh I mean stir in your sugar over a low ensure good dissolve of the sugar crystals, then raise heat for a rapid boil til your needed temp has hit. (220F jelly temp)
  8. Marmalade is a fickle lady and you only have one chance to get it right and set up properly. If you go past your set point you are done with a pot full of hell. Pay close attention to your thermometer and do not ever go over set point. Or Lady Marmalade will beat your ass with her Cat o' Nine tails....Trust me she is mean.
  9. Allow set marmalade to cool a bit before canning. Before you spoon your love lumps in the jars give Lady M a brisk whisking to ensure all her bits n bops are evenly distributed.
  10. Scrub your citrus alot of citrus has a wax coating forn the processing before they hit the market.
  11. Use a veggie peeler to get your rind removed from the fruit. Time saver and you have better control over how much pith comes with. (pith:white stuff between rind and pulp) after tenderized I get my stick blender and whiz the peels to a nice consistancy yet not baby food.
  12. Cut fruit in half between the belly button and arse hole so the sections are displayed and use your hands to dig out the juice and pulp. Save on cleaning equiptment. That time you save you can sip a bourbon with a friend. Pips removed and put in cheese cloth to tea bag in the juice n rinds while simmering.
  13. Booze dahling pass the hooch, Brandy and Whiskey are classic additions but there still are rules to follow. 2T. of booze per 2 cups of sugar will ensure a good set and nip.
  14. Have fun and play with all the beautiful citrus at your Farmers Market. From Seville orange to Buddahs Hand they all bring a unique profile that is sure to tickle the senses......
  15. From toast to Charcuterie this is a classic must that will for certain raise the flavour bar.....
Or Email me and I will send you a jar you lazy lima bean....

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