About 6 weeks ago my friend Mary, emailed me to say that her blood oranges from her tree(yeah-she has a tree) were almost ripe and wanted to drop some off for me to enjoy. I was elated and anxiously awaited the bag. One morning, upon arriving home from a yoga class, there on my doorstep, was HUGE bag of blood oranges and their leaves. I washed and dried the oranges and put them in a vessel and placed them on my dining room table. It took me days to figure out what I was going to make with them, but I wasn’t in a rush. I was merely enjoying their abundance.
In my files(my overly thick file of recipes I am dying to make) was a recipe for Meyer Lemon Marmalade. I had a big star on this recipe. I had filed it with the hopes of using the Meyer lemons from my tree. Yet, as I look at the gorgeous bowl of blood oranges sitting on my dining room table, it occurred to me that blood orange marmalade would suit me well as well as those I was gifting it to.
Blood Orange Marmalade
adapted from here
yield: 6 1/2 pints
8(1 1/2 lbs) blood oranges
4 cups water
4 cups sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
• halve the blood oranges. quarter each blood orange, half and thinly slice.
• combine with the water in a 5-quart heavy pot and let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature 24 hours.
• add seeds from the vanilla bean (cut vanilla bean in half. run a pairing knife down the center of the vanilla bean half and open it up. scrape out the seeds and add to the mixture). bring blood orange mixture to a boil over moderate heat.
• reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 4 cups, about 45 minutes.
• stir in sugar and boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until a teaspoon of mixture dropped on a cold plate gels, about 15 minutes.
• fill mason jars with marmalade, filling to within 1/4 inch of top. wipe rims with dampened cloth and seal jars with lids.
• put jars in a deep pot. add enough hot water to cover jars by 1 inch and bring to a boil, cover, 5 minutes and transfer with tongs to a rack.
• cool jars completely.