Oranges is a must for Easter in Norway. And with tradition comes specials at the supermarkets. Recently, we’ve kept finding blood oranges on special when doing grocery shopping. This has left a little bit if challenge on how to use these little sweet wonders to make tasty food. My last attempt was actually to make some citrus marmalade. And now I can’t wait to try eat it.
This vibrant orange and delicious marmalade is perfect for fresh bread over Easter or even to spread on hot cross buns. It is easy to make and the recipe makes 6 small jars, so you’ll have marmalade for a while, or to use as little presents for friends and family.
Involve your kids:
While working with the fruit, it is a good opportunity to involve the kids. My almost 2 year old was fascinated by the different colors and textures and was eager to get his hands on some of the fruits. Giving them the opportunity to touch, help and taste is extremely important in opening their mind towards trying out new foods. He happily ate some of the blood orange while I was cutting up and juicing the rest.
When making jams and marmalade, I would keep them at very safe distance when sterilizing and pouring into the jars. Before this part though, they should be welcomed to join.
I have made the marmalade fairly sweet and child friendly in flavor, hoping that the little monkey’s will like it too. You can easily make it more bitter if you like that taste by adding a bit more zest and even cook it with some of the skin and white parts (but remember to cook that in something you can take out. Cloth, tea sieve or similar).
4 blood oranges (zest of one of them)
1 normal orange
1 lemon (juice only)
1 lime (juice only)
250 ml water
1/2 vanilla bean, halved and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife.
350 grams jam sugar (sugar with added pectin)
1. Clean and zest one orange.
2. Cut the skin of the blood oranges and the normal orange. Make sure not to leave much of the white part of the oranges.
3. Cut the oranges into small pieces.
4. Remove any pips.
5. Put the bits into a medium sized saucepan.
6. Squeeze the lemon and the lime and add the juice to the pot with the oranges.
7. Add the water, vanilla bean and vanilla seeds and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat. The mixture should simmer.
7. Then add the sugar and cook for an additional 10 minutes to dissolve the sugar properly.
8. Remove the vanilla pod from the mixture.
9. Pour the jam mixture into sterilized jars and seal immediately.
10. Store in a cool and dark area.
The mixture will seem very wet when you pour it, but it sets well once the marmalade has cooled down.
Sterilizing the jars:
Whether you reuse or use new jars from the store, give them a good clean in the dishwasher first and then put them in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this at the end of the cooking process so that you can take them out and pour the mixture into piping hot glasses.
When you take them out of the oven, place them on a wooden chopping board. Avoid putting them on chopping boards of stone or similar that are cold. They will likely break to the change in heat temperature then.
You can also boil the jars, but after some trials, we’ve found that we have better control using the oven.
Don’t leave the jars in the oven for too long, as it will weaken the glass.
If you use jars with glass lids, you can put them in the oven too. If they are metal lids or have plastic parts, then you should boil in water instead. They are less likely to handle the temperature in the oven. Boil then for 5 minutes and they should be ok.