Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Bergamot Marmalade

I have never been an avid maker of jam. Or I should say my habit of winging it has resulted in a lot of runny flops. Or worse, so many jars that I couldn't give them away - the year I made concord grape jelly from a huge stockpot full of fruit. And then there's the whole canning jar business, pain in the neck.

But this time it was as if the fruit and I were meant for each other. I have to admit I have never set eyes on a Bergamot orange. I was in San Francisco and went to visit Rachel and her new husband and we all made a brief foray to Bi-Rite and there they were, like little round unassuming lemons. But the aroma, indeed Earl Grey. Heady.

So armed with nothing but a knife, a peeler and a pot, I peeled two specimens and julienned the strips finely. Then removed all the white pith and chopped the flesh, tiny pits and all. (The source of pectin, I think.) Then added about 4 or 5 tablespoons of sugar. This is to taste, and I like it bitter. Some water. Cooked it for about half an hour or a bit longer on high heat. When it was thick, poured it into a glass. Simple enough. On toasted ciabbata, a bit of butter from Isigny, a sprinkle of Spanish sea salt, and a good dollop of this marmalade, utterly magnificent.

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