Sunday, March 7, 2010

Marm: Orange Fig and Orange Earl Grey

Well, we all have our problems, don't we? Mine is marmalades. Can't get them out of my kitchen. I guess I've had worse problems in prior days. Making preserves is keeping me off the streets. Keeping me honest. Keeping me real.

Okay, so enough of that. I have been doing micro batches, and it's been so much fun. Check it:

I had four cups of peels and pulp that I brought to a boil with two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice and then let cool overnight in the fridge. The next afternoon I measured two cups and added 2/3 of a cup of sugar per cup of orange. Then I added 8 ounces of chopped, very soft dried mission figs. The resulting marmalade is gooey and rich, the figs add a smooth texture and a mellow to the peel's bitterness. This made three pints.

The next day, I used the balance of the oranges with the same 2/3 cup sugar per cup ratio, but as it reached the jel stage I poured in eight ounces of very concentrated Earl Grey tea (four bags, opened). It took forever to get it back to the jelling point, and I still think it's closer to a syrupy consistency. But how inspired is marmalade with tea in it? And Earl Grey, no less. I mean, really. To be sure, it's not my invention, I lifted the idea from Christine Ferber.

I have to admit this is a rushed post with uninspired photos. Today was a gorgeous day and I spent the good part of it out of doors, chopping up the many downed branches from our latest spate of storms. I dug among the beds, pulling back the warm blanket of leaves to see so many shoots coming up, some of which perplexed me: what did I plant here? I also sprinkled some buckwheat seed in one of the beds just because I wanted to plant something. I tidied the shed. I pruned all of the ornamental grasses. I played in the thick mud by the barn, daydreaming about the chickens I plan to get next week. I did a lot of dreaming, actually, listening to the stream gurgle by, watching the ice melt on the pond, wondering where I could squeeze in all the squash I want to grow. Lots of planes growled by, hawks swirled soundlessly on thermals. How am I ever going to find time to write once this season is in full swing?


  1. First, that looks fantastic! I love figs... in anything. Yum. The earl grey sounds rocking. Like tea time squared. =)
    I also have been worried about how the hell I'm going to post once I'm in the garden more. Up late at night I guess!

  2. Orange earl grey sounds like a fantastic idea, since bergamot is part of the citrus family. (Did you see David Lebovitz's recent post on bergamot marmalade? Now, if only I could come across some bergamot...Earl Grey is one of my favorite teas!)

    Oh, and how perfect for "high tea"--earl grey marmalade? You know how to make crumpets and scones right ;-)

  3. Such wonderful flavors! The earl grey thing is calling to me.

    RECIPE i GAVE YOU?????


  5. Wonderful marmalade! Are you planning to get chickens????!!! They are going to be so delightful!

  6. Meg- Thanks! Figs, yum. Wish I had a tree. I can't stay up past 9 p.m. most days so I'm not sure about that late night stuff. Yipes!

    Sara - I've got to check out the Lebovitz marmalade. I know it exists. Just have to find time to read it...Did you see Saving the Season's post on a bergamot mishap? It's like the Yeti of fruits. I have never seen one...Scones I have figured out, it's crumpets I need to work on. Now all I need is some clotted cream...

    Shae- Right? I made an apple jelly with earl grey back in the fall. I want to do that again, but stronger.

    Mamou- No. I didn't. The idea wasn't tickling my taste buds, but I bet Babypants would like it!

    Christine- Oh yeah on the chickens. Can't wait!

  7. Just found your blog, so will be happily sifting through. That marmalade sounds delicious! I have a little preserves obsession myself :-)