Wednesday, March 27, 2013

the big and the small

I noticed last week at the grocery store that all the specialty citrus fruits are coming in: more meyer lemons, sweet limes, and about five different kinds of grapefruits, as many tangelos, at least a half dozen oranges - but no sour Seville oranges! Dagnabbit! So, I decided to stop waiting around for Seville oranges and try some new marmalade experiments this year (which isn't to say I won't make another batch if the Sevilles ever do come in).
So I've got a couple experiments planned. This is the first: a pummelo-kumquat marmalade. Massive mellow grapefruit meets tart tiny kumquat. I used this recipe for the pummelo part of things, but added cut-up kumquats to the pummelo fruit, and cooked the marmalade until it reached about 210 degrees Fahrenheit (much longer than 20 minutes - and be careful! It needs frequent stirring). The colour darkened beautifully during that last 30 minutes or so of cooking, down to this rosy-orange hue. It's quite nice. This marmalade recipe came out chunkier, more like a relish - none ofthe orange jelly surrounding the bits of fruit that you get with Martha Stewart's recipe (that I used last year). For my next experiment, I'm going back to Martha's recipe, and bringing an herb into the mix.
More on that in a day or two; I have a rather time-consuming dinner planned for today (lamb meatballs with tomato-bean ragout and green garlic), but I'm hoping to have time to get a fresh batch of marmalade started and soaking overnight tonight, if I have time. I also have two more bags of meyer lemons to put up!
Sure is lovely to see some sunshine around here; while half the country is covered in snow, it actually feels like spring here in Seattle.

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