About three weeks ago I ordered 12 kg organic blood oranges through a Hungarian delicate webshop. The oranges came from Sicily, Italy. You can see on the photos how beautiful they were and whatever I made from them (juice, cake, marmalade) the flat smelt amazing. They were tasty, juicy, tangy but sweet enough to enjoy.
Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel (I used the whole orange) of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. It can be produced from lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, bergamots and other citrus fruits, or any combination thereof. I was looking for an easy-to-make recipe and one that doesn’t contain much sugar. This marmalade I cooked is a bit sweet, a bit tangy and a bit bitter, the perfect combination I think.
I don’t know if you have ever heard of the Bocuse d’Or but it is the prestigious event of the World Chef Championship and it takes place every two years in Lyon, France. The competition is named after Paul Bocuse, an 87 year-old French chef based in Lyon who is famous for the high quality of his restaurants and his innovative approaches to cuisine. He is one of the most prominent chefs associated with the nouvelle cuisine, which is less opulent and calorific than the traditional cuisine classique, and stresses the importance of fresh ingredients of the highest quality. Bocuse’s main restaurant is the luxury restaurant l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, near Lyon, which has been serving a traditional menu for decades. It is one of a small number of restaurants in France to receive the coveted three-star rating by the Michelin Guide.
I’m happy to annouance that Tamas Szell (plus Team Hungary) is the first Hungarian Gourmet Chef ever who competed with the best chefs of the world at Bocuse d’Or 2013 last week. Tamas is 30 year-old and works as a sous chef at Onyx Restaurant in Budapest (a restaurant that was the second in Hungary to get its first Michelin-star but the first where only Hungarian chefs cook).
Tamas and his team finished the competition at the amazing 10th place (see the whole final result and courses here)! What an achievement! We, Hungarians are so proud of him! The other unbelievable thing is that Hungary won the Best Poster Award at the event (you can see all the posters here). Congratulations to Tamas Szell and the Hungarian Team!
And here comes the orange marmalade…
Ingredients (makes 2*440 ml and 2*230 ml jars)
– 2000 g organic oranges
– 400 g cane sugar
– 250 ml (1 cup) water
– 1 vanilla bean, cut into small pieces
Wash the oranges thoroughly and let them dry. With a knife or a peeler remove only the colored part of the peel (very thinly, without the white part) and set it aside. This outer portion of the peel is what give marmalade its bitter taste. Place the skin in a bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for two hours.
Meanwhile using your fingers, peel off the remaining white portion of the rind and discard this part. Slice the oranges into thin slices (the tough white part in the center must be cut out and discarded + remove the seeds if you find any). Place the orange slices into a large pan, add sugar and set aside.
After two hours rinse the skin, chop it finely and add it to the pan. Also add 250 ml water, cover the pan and over low heat let it simmer for 2,5-3 hours, stirring occasionally. The marmalade was getting thicker after 2 hours. Test the readiness of the marmalade by placing a teaspoon of the mixture onto a chilled plate or spoon, allowing it to sit for 30 seconds. Tilt the plate. The mixture should be a soft gel that moves slightly. If mixture is thin and runs easily, it is not ready.
While the fruit is cooking, fill a large pot full with water, place the jars and tops into the water (make sure the water covers everything). Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave everything in the pot until the marmalade is ready.
Remove jars from the water and drain on a clean towel. Start spooning the marmalade into the jars, place a piece of vanilla on top and close them with the lids. Place the warm jars into a basket or a box lined with blankets, kitchen towels, cover them with the blankets and let them cool in a dry place for a day. Once open, store in the refrigerator.