You better love marmalade a hell of a lot to make it at home because it is a time-intensive process. 3 hours of simmering, plus about 45 minutes of prep, then it has to cool for hours, you add a couple more things, and then finally you can put it in jars. And then wait 8 hours while it chills in the fridge.
Guess what? I don't like marmalade.
As a pastry cook, I always want to learn about new techniques and new things. 99% of the time on the blog, I make things that I want and like to eat. That's why there's no cheesecake (I don't like cream cheese) or anything with peanuts (I'm not a fan) on this blog. But I feel like knowing how to make marmalade is an important skill and therefore, I need to learn it, despite the fact that I didn't want to eat it myself. My boyfriend likes marmalade (he's English so I feel like that's a requirement) so that solved the problem of what to do with the finished product, at least.
The great thing about marmalade is that it makes a great homemade gift. A housewarming gift, a Christmas present, a "I'm sorry you're feeling down" kind of gift, or even a "just because" gift. Homemade gifts always carry so much more meaning because it takes a lot more effort to make something from scratch than to buy it. If you're giving marmalade to someone, you must like them quite a bit because it takes a good half a day (or more) to make it. And if you've received homemade marmalade, you better appreciate it!
If blood oranges aren't your thing or maybe you can't get them where you are, regular oranges will also work fine. In fact, almost any kind of citrus fruit will work in this situation, as long as you have the same measurements. A combination of fruits could be great as well, like Meyer lemon and orange, or grapefruit and lime (but can you peel a lime…?).
Blood Orange Marmalade
Recipe from Dahlia Bakery Cookbook
570 g blood oranges, plus one extra for zest + juice
4.5 L cold water
1 vanilla bean
300 g granulated sugar
270 g light corn syrup
62 g water
55 g freshly squeezed orange juice
55 g freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
Using a sharp knife, slice off the very top and bottom of each orange. Discard the tops and bottoms. Make two lengthwise incisions in the skin of the orange, spaced evenly apart, and going in deep enough to reach the flesh without cutting into it. Then work your fingers along the groove of each cut and carefully pull the peel (along with all the white pith) away from the orange, doing your best to remove it in one piece.
After the oranges are peeled, roughly chop the orange flesh and discard any seeds in the oranges. Set the chopped orange aside in the bowl of a food processor.
Slice the peels into a julienne as thin as possible (about 1/8th inch).
Place 1.5 L of the cold water and julienned peels in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the contents through a sieve, reserving the peels and discarding the water.
Place the peels back in the the pot with another 1.5 L of cold water and repeat the process, simmering again for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the contents through a sieve, reserving the peels and discarding the water.
Place the peels back in the pot for a third time with another 1.5 L of cold water. This last blanking time, simmer the peels for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the contents through a sieve, discarding the water and reserving the blanched peels. Place the peels in a bowl.
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the top of a paring knife, scrape out all the seeds and add to the chopped orange flesh in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse 10 to 15 times, until you have an evenly chunky paste. Transfer the orange pulp to the bowl with the reserved blanched peels. When you combine the pulp the peels, you should have 570 g of fruit.
Place the sugar, corn syrup, and 62 g of water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Brush down the sides of the pan with a clean pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization and boil the sugar until the mixture reads 240 F/115 C on a digital thermometer.
Add the orange pulp and peels to the sugar mixture and reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer over low heat. Simmer the marmalade for about 3 hours or until the peels are translucent and the marmalade is thick. Any liquid that remains will be syrupy, not watery.
During the 3 hour cooking time, the marmalade must not boil vigorously or the peels will become tough instead of tender and translucent. You are looking for a "one bubble" simmer. After the first hour of cooking, start skimming off any foam or debris that rises to the surface, using a large wide spoon. Don't start skimming until you've simmer the marmalade for 1 hour, because it's not effective. After an hour, the foam solidifies and is easier to skim. Always be careful when skimming not to skim too much of the marmalade away.
After the 3 hours of simmering, when the marmalade is thick, remove the pot from heat, transfer the marmalade to a bowl, and let cool to room temperature.
When the marmalade is completely cool, stir in the orange and lime juices and the orange zest.
Ladle the marmalade into jars. Cover the jars with lids and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.