Blood Oranges. You love ’em or you hate ’em. Most of the haters I know seem to base their dislike purely on the name and appearance. Use the term “blood” in the title of anything food related and you’ll get an automatic ‘squick’ from almost all Americans. It’s how we were raised. It’s okay. There are an awful lot of us, hopefully more, that are taking an interest in where our food comes from, and in the case of animals, where and how they lived, and how they died. We’re trying make sure that what we put into our bodies is as good as possible and honor the animals by using as much as possible from each one. We’re facing the fact that there is blood involved. But I digress, this is about lovely, deep and vibrantly hued oranges. These that you see here are tiny little oranges, about the size of those baby clementines and not as deep red as I would have liked. Still, they were beautiful. The flavor, oh the flavor! Blood oranges have that traditional orange flavor but with a tart, raspberry-ish infusion. It’s a deeper and softer taste, one that makes you want to sit back and savor it. It’s slower than the usual bright, acidic, okay, time to go juice that we chug in the morning. While they’re here, try them in cocktails, cook with them, make sorbet. I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with their lovely red-orange color and their captivating taste.
This picture is just for fun. I think it looks cool even if it didn’t work the way I wanted it too. Happy accidents!
I didn’t have a recipe for marmalade. I’m growing more fond of it, but it’s still not my first choice. I do have another combination in mind that I’d like to try, but when I was looking at these tiny little fruit the first thing that I thought I’d like to make and eat was marmalade. Go figure. Any way, I looked at several recipes, but this made the most sense to me. The rind on these oranges was very thin, so all I did was slice them. I’m seeing them in the grocery stores now and they’re much larger and have a thicker rind. If you’re using those you might want to consider thinly peeling just the outer zest/rind from the outside and slicing it, then either cutting the segments away from the pith or just juicing them. You really don’t want thick, pithy pieces in your marmalade. This recipe comes from Bon Appetit and Elizabeth Falkner. As I’ve never made this before I made very few changes so I’m giving you the exact recipe with a note where I deviated. It came out so wonderfully. Please give this a try!
Blood Orange Marmalade
Recipe by Elizabeth Falkner
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- 1 blood orange or regular orange, thinly sliced with peel into rounds, seeded if necessary
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Campari
Note: Before I combined everything, I gently squeezed as much juice as I could out and reserved it for the final mixture. This first step seems to me to be one that will remove any bitterness from the rind as well cook it, hence the discarding of the cooking syrup.