While Blood Oranges do vary in the intensity of their colour, these were all marked with an intense deep red flesh.
This red colour is due to two pigments, Anthocyanin and Carotenoid, both of which are anti-oxidants. Nutritionally, you'll find they contain Vitamins A, B6 and C, Niacin, Riboflavin and Thiamin as well as Calcium, Copper, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Panthothenic Acid and Potassium.
For this weeks recipe I've decided to focus on showing off the colour and also provide something to brighten up a winter's breakfast. As toast is a favoured way to start the day, some Blood Orange Marmalade certainly won't go astray.
As these are sweetly flavoured, I've opted to cut the oranges into thick slices so give a more generous flavour hit in each bite.
500 grams Blood Oranges
3 cups sugar, approximate
Slice the tops and bottoms off each orange and discard, then slice into quarters. Cut each quarter into thick slices.
Place the slices, any juice and all the seeds into a non-reactive saucepan and pour over enough water to cover the orange pieces.
Note: if you have the time you can place the sliced oranges and water into a bowl and let it sit overnight in the fridge. This will help to release the natural pectin into the water and lessen the time taken in the next stage to soften the peel.
Over a gentle heat, slowly simmer the oranges until the skin has softened. It's important that you make sure the skin is to your liking as once as you add the sugar, the skin will set and will not get any softer. You'll notice a type of scum rising to the surface as it boils, just skim this off and discard.
Once the skin has softened, measure out your remaining mixture - in this case I had a total of 4 cups left (this is the volume of the water and the orange pieces). This measurement decides how much sugar is needed.
As the fruit is sweet, I used 3 cups of sugar - the general rule of thumb when making marmalade is a 1:1 ratio.
Return the oranges and liquid to a clean non-reactive saucepan and place over a gentle heat, add the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. You'll notice that the liquid becomes quite clear and the orange seeds will float to the surface. You can now remove the seeds as they come into view - they have done their part in adding pectin.
Turn the heat up until the mixture is simmering and cook until it reaches around 105°C/220°F on a candy thermometer.
Once ready, let it sit in the pan for a few minutes to allow the marmalade to begin setting - this will help ensure an even distribution of the orange pieces.
Pour into sterilised jars and seal.
A gorgeously thick marmalade swathed in a deep crimson jelly - it seriously demands that you indulge with a large spoonful.
Other Blood Orange recipes:
Blood Orange Cordial