One Fruit, Two Marmalades

Let's start with the marmalade that's a sonofabitch. How could that be?

Think of it this way: A Spaniard, a Basque, and a Scot walk into a bar and plays drinking games until she hits the floor, because she's only one but she's been drinking for three.

That's this marmalade.

It's very assertive in flavor and dark in color, but when spread on toast, it snaps and sparkles. The smoke from the scotch and the heat from the peppers add to the fiery effect. Though I haven't tried it this way yet, I think it would work really well as a glaze for pork or chicken.

Seville Orange Marmalade with Chiles and Scotch
You will need:
2 1/4 pounds Seville (bitter) oranges
juice of one lemon
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 cup brown sugar
7 cups sugar
3 piment d'espelette dried peppers (or similar, medium-heat peppers), split, seeds removed, and minced
3 ounces smoky, peaty scotch
(Cooking directions are below the ingredients for the second marmalade.)

The second marmalade is more refined but still pleasantly drawly. Without making the marmalade any more alcoholic, the brown sugar and vanilla bean amplify the bourbon.  Slather this on whole wheat cream scones or tender, fluffy biscuits. Use it as sweetener in a modified Old Fashioned.

Seville Orange Marmalade with Vanilla and Bourbon
You will need:
2 1/4 pounds Seville (bitter) oranges
juice of one lemon
1 cup brown sugar
8 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
3 ounces bourbon

To make either marmalade:
Wash oranges well, cut them in half, and juice them. Don't discard the seeds or the juice; you'll need both. Pull off any membranes that still hang on the insides of the peels, and slice each peel cup in half, then crosswise into strips as thin or wide as you like. Place the rinds, juice, and 10 cups of cold filtered water in a large bowl. Tie the seeds in cheesecloth or a tea bag and drop the package in the bowl. Let sit overnight.

Pour the mixture into a large pot, bring to a boil, then simmer until the peel is very tender and the contents have reduced by 1/3. This takes a while: over an hour, maybe up to two. With a slotted spoon, fish out the bag of seeds and press it against the side of the pot to release any remaining pectin. Discard the seed bag.

Stir in lemon juice, the chile or vanilla bean, and the sugars. Raise the heat and stir until you've dissolved the sugar. Boil for 20 minutes or so, until the marmalade reaches setting point. Let cool for a minute or two, stir in the scotch or bourbon, and can according to USDA directions.

Both recipes make approximately 6 1/2 pints of marmalade.


prussack said…
Where did you manage to find Seville oranges in SoCal. Not something I see regularly. Am grafting some Seville budwood onto a rootstock but will take a few years before I get any from that route. Based in Riverside CA.
Christina said…
Hi Prussack. I received the Sevilles from a member of my produce exchange. In my neighborhood, there are a few old, old bitter oranges that were planted a long time ago. I don't have a tree myself. However, I do know several growers offer it. Four Winds has it for sure, and they ship. Good luck in your quest for Sevilles!

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