Fun fact: Oranges most likely arose as a hybrid between the pomelo and the tangerine in Southeast Asia sometime thousands of years ago. Much later, blood oranges appeared as a random mutation of the common orange, either in China or in the Mediterranean. The red colour – due to the presence of anthocyanin pigments, which normally occur in blackberries, cranberries, etc. – was interesting enough for someone to say “This looks profitable!” The rest is history. Thanks, Wikipedia.
Today we have a recipe for blood orange jam, a much more palatable alternative to marmalade. Why? 1. It’s red, and red is a more appetizing colour than orange, and 2. NO RINDS. I’m sorry if I offend any rind-loving marmalade fans reading this, but, in my humble opinion, RINDS SUCK. Do I eat the rind when I peel an orange? No. That’s why I peeled it: to get rid of the nasty, horribly bitter rind. I remember once finding bits of orange peel under the couch cushions at my Grandmother’s house. When I asked her why, she told me that she had recently had an ant infestation and orange peels were a natural way to repel the bothersome insects. That’s right: ants are repelled by orange rinds. The same bugs that eat decaying plant matter and other nasty bugs are put off by orange peels. And you put this into MY marmalade?? I’ll make my own, thank you very much. Here’s how:
4 lbs blood oranges
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cups of granulated sugar
1 Certo liquid pectin pouch (170 ml)
**makes about 7 jars, ½ pint each
Cut the oranges by creating orange segments. Slice the top and bottom of the orange to create a flat surface. Run the sharp knife down to peel the outside skin strip by strip. Place the orange in the palm of one hand and run the blade down the inside of each segment in a V-shape ensuring you keep separation between the segment and membrane. Continue to separate each segment. Remember to remove any seeds from the oranges.
In a 4-quart saucepan, place segmented oranges, lemon juice, and sugar. On medium high heat, stir frequently until boiling. Once reached boiling, reduce heat to medium. Simmer about 45 minutes until temperature has reached 225°F on candy thermometer. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour. Skim bubbles if necessary and pour in Certo pouch.
Ladle jam into sterilized jars!