Cara Cara Orange & Ginger Marmalade

Cara Cara oranges are one of my favourite citrus fruits. They are a cross between oranges and grapefruit and seem to bring the best of both to the table. Combined with ginger, this is a thrilling marmalade that I am going to make more of this week.

This recipe is from a book that I am loving right now - Food in Jars by Marisa McClennan. So many recipes that I want to try... Cantaloupe Jam w/ Vanilla is near the top of my list but I'll have to wait for summer to do that one. Come to think of it, I'm going to make a note on my calender so that I don't forget.

I was surprised to see that this recipe included powdered pectin. I haven't seen other marmalade recipes that include pectin but apparently Cara Cara's don't have a lot of natural pectin and the powdered pectin helps with the set. I would also hazard a guess that the cooking time is reduced because of the added pectin and therefore the colour of the marmalade is maintained beautifully. I kid you not... This marmalade is gorgeous, in looks and taste.

Cara Cara Orange & Ginger Marmalade
Makes 7 - 250 mL jars.

4 pounds Cara Cara oranges (about 8 or 9)
6 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp powdered pectin
4 ounces fresh ginger root
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Prepare jars, rings and tops for canning. For a detailed guide to canning, see The Harrow Fair Cookbook.
Wash the fruit in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Using a sharp veggie peeler, remove the zest from the fruit. Stack the zest strips in piles and chop into fine confetti. Combine the zest in a pot with 2 litres of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until zest is tender.
Peel and chop the ginger root and place in the work bowl of food processor. Add 1 cup water and process until the ginger is pureed. Strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer. Keep the juice and discard the pulp. 

While the zest cooks, "supreme" the fruit by cutting the white pith away from the fruit and cutting the fruit into segments between the membranes. Collect the fruit and any juices in a large measuring cup.

Drain the zest in a fine mesh strainer, reserving the cooking liquid. Combine the sugar and the powdered pectin.
In a large pot, combine the drained zest, segmented fruit, 4 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, the sugar/pectin mixture, and 1 cup ginger juice.
Bring to a boil and cook vigorously until the mixture reaches 220 F. This will take 30-40 minutes. Stir regularly as it cooks to prevent scorching.
When the marmalade reaches 220 F and sustains that temperature for 1 minute, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle the marmalade into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes. (I didn't do the hot-water bath b/c I forgot and I don't usually do it for jams). 


Notes on Roast Chicken

My sister made the roast chicken that I wrote about in February and she wasn't as thrilled as I thought she'd be. After questioning her technique, I realized I wasn't clear enough with the instructions. I have made the exact chicken three times now so I've got a lot to say on the subject. 

Amazing Roast Chicken

1 whole chicken
Fresh thyme or rosemary
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Place the chicken in a 9x13-inch baking pan. Salt the inside cavity of the chicken and stuff the herbs and garlic inside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the soy sauce. Brush the chicken with the soy mixture and place the chicken in the oven. Set a timer to baste the bird every 10-15 minutes. Don't pour all of the soy mixture over the chicken at the very beginning. Every time you baste the chicken, use a little more of the mixture and it should be gone in about 3 hours.

The chicken is ready when the joints are loose and the skin is a dark golden brown. The meat should be falling off the bones, or just about. The one I made last night was so dark (in a good way), it looked like a lacquered Peking duck.

I also made stock with the last carcass I had from this chicken. I didn't include ALL of the drippings, but I did include some. The stock is a dark brown so although it might not be great for certain things, you can bet that it will make some fantastically tasty soups, stews, etc. And you definitely won't need to add any extra seasoning.