Lately I am enjoying my Friday evenings by purchasing a new ingredient to prepare for dinner or enjoy with a cocktail. I decided on a strawberry jam and aged gouda (separate intake) this past week, due to a recent craving for cheese and its accompaniment, as well as desiring an appropriate topping for Sunday pancakes. Upon arriving home, I noticed the expiration date of June 2016.
So very annoyed. I am liberal regarding expiration dates with certain products, but this was not a local jam and had minimal preservatives (citric acid), therefore no risk need to be taken. How far did it travel? What happened on the way? I can only imagine how long it was sitting in that store.
I took my concerns out via email to customer service. (Just imagine that relief). Oh being a dietitian and servsafe certified…
As one could imagine, I was craving the spreadable fruit concoction more than ever now and could think of all the ways it would be ideal in this present moment. One cocktail in, with aged gouda and dark chocolate in front of me and comfortable lounge wear and zero desire to travel; no jam would be worth leaving the apartment. Nothing is ever this convenient for me, but I remembered I had two oranges from the farmer’s market in my fridge. Alright, I’ll make my own.
I wanted to keep it simple. Oranges, some other sort of herb or spice, and sweetener. I decided on adding some leftover champagne (why did I have any leftover? I cannot give a valid explanation), vanilla extract because it is my favorite, and brown sugar to utilize the characteristics of the molasses when mellowing the tartness of the marmalade.
This marmalade was tart, yet balanced by the brown sugar and vanilla. Utilizing the rind, we receive the benefits of pectin, which is a soluble fiber that forms a viscous gel and is fermented by colonic bacteria. Current research supports the physiological benefits of adequate soluble fiber intake to include improved serum lipid levels1. Pectin is the thickening agent in this marmalade as well.
I am looking forward to pairing this with cheese and maybe some rye crostini..Perhaps chèvre or brie. My favorite ways so far to use this marmalade include:
-mixed in a homemade vinaigrette for a chopped cilantro, kale and avocado salad: balsamic, olive oil, salt, black pepper
-shaken into a cocktail; mixed with champagne
-dipped with a piece of dark chocolate bar
-spread with butter on chocolate chip oat flour pancakes
2 medium/large oranges (250-300g each; local/not sprayed if possible)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup champagne/sparkling wine
1 cup filtered water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Peel oranges, remove/discard seeds
Chop orange segments and peel
Place all ingredients into medium saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium/medium-low to maintain a simmer for about 1 hour, until reduced; stir occasionally.
Turn off heat, let cool slightly, place in food processor and blend until mixture is fairly uniform and large chunks become tiny pieces and overall mixture is smooth. Alternatively, an immersion blender can be used in place of the food processor.
Return to saucepan on low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until mixture is further reduced and thickened; stirring frequently. Be careful product does not burn.
Turn off heat, remove from warm burner, and let cool.
Store in air-tight glass container in fridge.