Saturday, July 16, 2011

bitter orange, rosewater & almond marmalade recipe




When Si came home from work the other day holding a huge box of freshly picked, organic, fluro-coloured oranges, mandarins and tangelos, I knew instantly that I’d have to hide a few to make marmalade. You may remember from last year that I have a wee addiction to making preserves, even though we don’t tend to eat much of them. Weird I know, but they do make perfect gifts, I mean who would say no to a jar of handmade marmalade? And the second I lay eyes on these amazingly bright fruit I knew it would be a waste to simply eat the flesh and throw the skin. I didn’t take any photos of the oranges I used (??!!) but the tangelos below were truly a sight to behold. I have never before seen such intensely orange fruit, they almost looked to be tampered with, seriously.

I’m actually not 100% sure those below were even tangelos, anyone? They looked like them with their little knobby top and tasted like them too, but they peeled like oranges, segmenting nicely and were the biggest tangelos I’ve ever seen? Anyway, they were good. The lot of them.




The array of amazing food living in a city almost makes our big move all worthwhile. I need only pop down the street to pick up whatever tickles my fancy. After living the past 8 years straight in my little hometown of Raglan, where if you wanted anything even remotely “different” to buy, you'd have to travel miles or grow it yourself, my new proximity to shops never ceases to put a smile on my face. We have been going to the Fremantle markets the past few weekends, this place is awesome. I've been there many times over the years since meeting Si, but for some reason I always seemed to miss a whole back section of the markets?! “The Yard” out the back is filled with FOOD *happy face, happy dance*, you name it, I was feeling it. Piles of fresh locally grown fruit and vegetables back onto stalls selling bread made onsite. There’s a wholefood store where I finally got my hands on coconut flour, a raw food stall where we have been eyeing up a gorgeous rich raw chocolate cheesecake, and my new favourite place to eat in Perth. The Vegan Thai cafe, where I buy my all time favorite dish (in the whole wide world, seriously)… green papaya salad. Last weekend I even picked up a little container of freshly made pandan sago pudding, topped with salted coconut cream. I’m going to try and re-create this as soon as I can. It was amazing.




The addition of lightly toasted almonds and rosewater makes this marmalade just a little bit special in my book. Adding a slight chew, the almonds make me wonder if this would be equally suited to being served as a Greek spoon sweet, as it would be spread on toast. I use unrefined raw sugar in this recipe (loving how cheap organic sugar is in Australia also), but if you are after a more intense orange colour opt for regular white sugar instead.


I've just picked a bag of kumquats from a un-used tree at Si's head office, why people seem to only plant these as ornamental trees I will never know. Their fruit is amazing and I'm so looking forward to cooking with them. What's your favourite citrus fruit?


Adapted from a recipe in Saha, by Greg and Lucy Malouf.



bitter orange, rosewater & almond marmalade 
Store marmalade in a cool dark place for up to a year and refrigerate once open. If you can, try to use organic fruit. Or at the very least make sure they are un-waxed and locally grown, who knows what nasties you may be eating otherwise. (Go raid your neighbours tree!)
Makes around 2kg, or 3 medium jars. 


  • 3 oranges (about 750-800g/1.5 lb whole weight)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1.75 litres water (7 cups/3 pints) water
  • 1.1kg (2.5 lb) organic raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml/1 fl oz) rosewater
  • 1/3 cup (30g ) flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan 




Slice the oranges and lemon very thinly, flicking out the pips as you go (save these). Put the slices of fruit into a large non-reactive bowl (glass or ceramic preferable), cover with 1.5 litres (6 cups) of the water. Put the pips into a small bowl and cover with the remaining 250ml (1 cup) of water and leave both to soak overnight.


The next day transfer the sliced fruit and it's soaking water to a medium heavy-based pan, spoon the pips into a small square of muslin and tie the corners to enclose. Pop this in the pan too, along with their soaking water.


Place a small plate into the fridge to cool, you will need this later. Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer gently for 1 1/2-2 hours until the fruit is really soft. Using tongs or a fork, remove the bag of pips, pressing it against the side of the pan to remove as much liquid as you can, discard the bag. Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to a rapid boil, and cook for 20-30 minutes or until it has reached setting point. To check this, drop a small amount of marmalade onto your chilled plate, pull your finger through the centre of it. If the trail remains in the marmalade, it has reached setting point. If it runs into the centre and forms one blob again, return to the heat and cook for a further few minutes before testing again.


Once setting point has been reached, remove from the heat and skim any foam from off the surface, if you eat dairy you can add a little dot of butter instead, stirring it in to break up any foam. Stir in the rosewater and almonds and leave to sit for 10 minutes. This ensures the fruit is evenly dispersed throughout the marmalade so it doesn't all float to the top once bottled. Carefully spoon into sterilised jars* and seal while hot.


*To sterilise jars clean them in hot soapy water, rinse well and heat in a preheated oven at 120 C/250 F for 20-30 minutes. Stand lids in boiling water for 5 minutes to sterilise before use.


Recipe linked to:
~Slightly Indulgent Tuesday @ simply sugar and gluten-free

24 comments:

  1. I love the addition of almon and rosewater, I haven't made any marmalade yet this year.

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  2. Definitely look like tangelos. Your marmalade looks absolutely gorgeous, and I love the idea of adding rosewater and almonds :-)
    Sue xo

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  3. Oh yum, sounds divine. I made a HUGE batch of marmalade when I was at my in-laws for Christmas last year. Unfortunately, they didn't have enough jars to manage the motherload so I ended up leaving most of it in their freezer (they live in Rotorua, so it's a long way from home)! How distressing. Anyway, it was my first attempt at marmalade and I was very pleased with the results. I think I will need to give your opulent recipe a try next time :)

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  4. We were given a gag of limes from a friend who has a number of lime trees/plants - victims of gale winds! Was wondering what to do with them (apart from asian dishes, pies and tarts). Your post has given me another idea. Perhaps I could turn them into lime, lemon and orange marmalade!

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  5. Thanks Sue, I think they were tangelos too. Just the biggest and best ones I've ever seen!

    Amy, isn't it the nicest feeling making that first batch! I still remember mine, I was so proud. Bummer about the lack of jars :-( It does keep well in a container in the fridge too.

    Sugar and Spice~ Oh you lucky thing! Limes are my favourite citrus ever.I wish I had bags of them to play with! Lime marmalade is yumo and have you ever tried making lime curd before? You could sub in lime juice and zest in my grapefruit curd recipe here... http://mydarlinglemonthyme.blogspot.com/2010/09/bitter-grapefruit-curd.html

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  6. Hmmm...lime marmalade or lime curd. I think I'll have a go at lime and lemon marmalade using your recipe above. Bought some meyer lemons from the market this morning. Fingers crossed! ta...

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  7. Mmm yummo! Love all citrus, especially cumquats and lime. Like the sound of the almond and rosewater too. As much as I love marmalade I don't eat a lot of it either, though often think it would be great to try a spoonful in porridge!

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  8. Lucky you, with all that lovely fresh food so close by :)
    I couldn't possibly decide my favourite citrus...the smell of limes is incredible, and they're such a treat...lemons are so indispensable...and I love biting into a wedge of juicy orange.
    This marmalade looks gorgeous - I love the addition of almonds!

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  9. Sam~ On porridge sounds good! Or thinned down and spooned over pancakes?

    Laura @ hungryandfrozen~ Yeah actually I'm with you, there's no clear favourite. Limes and lemons are up there. And I couldn't do without orange zest in my baking. Xx

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  10. I'm so happy to have stumbled upon your website!! :) First, I was looking for a vegan recipe using rosewater, and it just happens to be your latest entry. Then, I scroll down, and the very next entry is a recipe using baby carrots, which are finally coming to full growth in our garden and my dad was showing me this excitedly just a few hours ago! I love also that these are gluten-free mostly as well. And when I first looked at your site, I couldn't help but smile at how cute the banner and theme is, lemon thyme :) Take care and thanks for making such a wonderful little place! :)

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  11. I love citrus marmalades and the addition of rose and almond sounds very delicious!

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  12. Thanks heaps L. Such kind words!

    Xiaolu~ thanks for stopping by :-)

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  13. Limes are my favourite too - lemons a close second.
    And, I love to make preserves. Wouldn't it be great if we all lived near to each other and could meet for lunch and swap preserves??

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  14. That would be awesome wouldn't it?! Xx

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  15. That looks so refreshing with rosewater! Loved the fresh look of the citrusy awesomeness!

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  16. Gorgeous marmalade recipe emm. You know, I've never made a good marmalade. Actually, I stopped just after attempting lime marmalade. It was a disaster! REALLY bitter. But I'm wondering about your soaking method... I wonder if soaking the limes in water and then THROWING out the soaking liquid might reduce the bitterness? But then, that would mean throwing out a lot of the flavour too... Perhaps peeling the limes and just soaking the peel? hmm... anyway, lovely recipe and my favourite citrus... maybe my meyer lemons. They are the happiest trees in the world, I think. And there peel smells like blossoms.

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  17. I should make marmalade since we have good crops of oranges this year. Yours look nicely done!

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  18. I never make marmalade because my husband doesn't like it and I don't eat jam or marmalade on toasts, so it would go to waste, but this looks good
    :-)

    ciao
    A.

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  19. Angela @ the good soup~ You may like my marmalade recipe from last winter...

    http://mydarlinglemonthyme.blogspot.com/2010/10/three-citrus-ginger-marmalade.html

    It's way less bitter than most recipes, using only a little bit of the skin and no pith. You can use any citrus you like, just stick to the ratios given :-)

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  20. Thanks Emm! Will check it out now. sounds PERFECT.

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  21. I love the idea of using the rosewater! My favourite citrus is the Finger lime. I've planted one in the garden next to my Lemon, Lime, Orange, and Kaffir lime trees. I love citrus too, but mine are all still little :(

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  22. I've never tasted or even seen finger limes. I've read so much about them though and hope to get my hands on some at some stage! Wow you really do love citrus, I'm totally jealous of all your citrus trees! Just think of all that free fruit you will be getting one day in the future :-)

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  23. That looks fantastic, I love the idea of adding almonds to the marmalade.

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  24. Wow looks amazing. I’m going to try this tonight!!

    I just made an amazing vegan recipe too!

    I just started to blog so check it out!
    http://www.cloudsandclovers.com/?p=968

    Thanks,
    Rachel

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Thanks so much for stopping by, arohanui xx Emm

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