AND….We Are Back!!

It’s amazing how fast a year passes. One minute you have every intention of blog posting while remolding a house, starting a new job, adding new pets to the household and the next minute you look up and realize a whole year has gone by and you dropped the ball! Let me start by apologizing to all of our readers out there (if there are any left!) for leaving you foodies-less for so long. Let’s catch up shall we?

Here at the Petruno house we have had so many changes in this last year! Work has kept Eric extremely busy so the big announcement of Foodies At Home  is that I, Charisse, will be continuing to deliver the goods solo so to say. Oh don’t worry, Eric is still here eating, dishwashing, and as always my trusty tech support, but it’s now a one woman show!

Although we haven’t talked in forever, I have still been saving recipes in hopes of sharing them with you lovely people! You could say I’m a bit of a cookbook junky! Most woman have a  purse or shoe fetish but I much prefer to browse barnes and nobles or amazon for my next fix. Addicted to cookbooks…that’s a thing right? In fact, it’s so bad that for Christmas I received oh, about 10 beautiful new books to drool over! People know me all too well I guess!

Seriously though, I have a problem! Please tell me I am not alone! Sure it’s a sickness, a delicious sickness!  Ehhhh…I accept it! Now on to the recipe because I know that’s what you all having been waiting oh so patiently for!

Drumroll please……………………………..

Cara Cara Orange Marmalade with Hibiscus and Ginger

This recipe was inspirational! I mean totally knock your socks off in the morning, turn your world upside down on toast, inspirational!  And who doesn’t want that with their side of coffee?

It all started with a innocent trip to the local farmers market where these gorgeous, hunky, cara cara oranges where giving me the come hither eyes. If you have haven’t yet tried a cara cara orange than please, run right out this minute and snag yourself a few! I promise…you won’t be disappointed! On the outside they look like any ordinary navel orange but once you cut into them you will reveal a mouth watering pink flesh that is just as sweet as the best sun kissed orange you’ve ever had but with hints of…..hmmm….cranberries? I know that sounds strange but have I ever led you wrong?

After a day or so of these beauties sitting on my counter I knew I had to do something to showcase their color and unique flavor. And it just so happens that one of my new favorite canning cookbooks did the trick!

Food in Jars is an awesome canning blog that I follow religiously and recently published their first cookbook (insert wistful sigh here) Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round.  It’s the perfect canning book for me since most other recipes require pounds of fruits and produce enough jellies and marmalades for me to feed a small nation! And because it’s just me and Eric here on the homestead, small batch canning provides just enough jars to get us through but not overwhelm us with tons of excess.

So with my cookbook in one hand and a bag of cara caras in the other I started my marmalade. The original recipe calls for just ginger but being such an odd ball, I wanted to add an extra kick to this sweet spread (and I had been itching to use some of the hibiscus powder Eric brought home for me. But let’s just keep that between you and me!)

Pure marmalade bliss right here! I swear, you’ll eat a whole jar of this with just a spoon! Who needs the extra carbs right? Let’s start a new diet trend here people! The all marmalade diet! Where do I sign up?

Cara Cara Orange Marmalade with Hibiscus and Ginger

4 pounds cara cara oranges (about 9)

6 cups sugar

1 cup ginger juice

2 Tablespoons Hibiscus Powder (optional)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Wash your fruit in warm water and dry, then using a small knife, remove the zest from the fruit. Grab the zest pieces and slice ever so thin. Throw all the zest pieces into a pot with 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer zest until tender.

Meanwhile, supreme the inside of the orange. (meaning, cut away the white “pith” and slice between each individual membrane of the orange segments so you are just left with the meat of the fruit). Collect the fruit as well as any juices and set aside.

Once the zest is cooked, drain making sure to reserve the cooking liquid.

If you plan to can the marmalade, now would be a good time to start you boiling water bath and sterilize your jars.

In a large pot, combine the zest, segmented fruit, 4 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, sugar, as well as the ginger juice and hibiscus powder. Bring to a boil and cook until the marmalade reaches 220*F (about 30-40 minutes) Once the temperature hits 220*F, cook for 1 minute and test the set of marmalade by placing a small bit on a saucer plate and putting it in the freezer for a minute or so. If it is set up and has a skin type layer over it, the marmalade is ready. If not, keep cooking for another 5 minutes and repeat the test.

Once set, ladle into sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Makes about 7 half-pint jars




One thought on “AND….We Are Back!!

  1. I spy a candy making cookbook!! I can’t wait for this year’s candy day! Glad you’re back at it and love your writing Charisse! Do you think I’ve used enough exclamation points yet?!?!

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