Saturday, May 20, 2006

Super-Runny Marmalade!

Konatsu Marmalade on a Breakfast Biscuit

Yep, I did it again, and this time I almost blew it.
What did I do? I made konatsu marmalade with my dad’s konatsu oranges again. Last year I had a great success, so this year I wanted to make more and give some to my mom as a belated mother’s day gift.

IIRC, last year I used about 200 g of konatsu orange peels, which was apx. 1/5 of the amount mentioned in the original recipe, and I reduced the amount of other ingredients accordingly. This time I used a little more than 500 g! Imagine how long I had to keep slicing the peels… It was almost a nightmare, even with my favorite background music on all the way through.

Now I remembered that last year, I kept adding konatsu juice and lemon juice at the end, which probably changed the proportion in the original recipe quite a bit. So this time I decided to follow the proportion more precisely. I put the shredded peels, sugar, konatsu juice and water in a big pot and brought them to a boil, then simmered for about an hour. At that point, the shredded peels didn’t look as soft as I remembered from last year, and the mixture seemed very runny, but I didn’t care, thinking that adding pectin at the end would make everything perfectly fine.

Everything seemed fine until I added some pectin…. Still the marmalade was not thickening. I simmered it for another 15 to 20 minutes, and added a little more pectin…. Still no good… I simmered it for another 30 minutes, but still, in the pot, rather stiff peels were simmering in runny orange soup. It did not look set at all! So I added a little more pectin… and tasted the marmalade. OMG!!! IT WAS AWFULLY TERRIBLY EXTREMELY KILLINGLY SWEET!!

The tricky part, which I completely forgot this time, was that this pectin I used was pre-mixed with sugar -- yes, the kind you can directly add to the simmering fruit & juice mixture. The pectin mentioned in the original recipe was obviously not the pre-mixed type. So if I was going to use the same amount of pectin mentioned in the recipe or more, I should have reduced the amount of sugar that I added to the mixture beforehand.

There I had to choose from 2 alternatives: a) runny marmalade with tolerable sweetness and some flavor of this charming citrus fruit or b) properly set marmalade with intolerable sweetness with no trace of refreshing konatsu flavor. I chose a), thinking that refrigerating would help making it thicker. To me, keeping the refreshing taste of konatsu was more important, after all. So I added more konatsu juice, lemon juice and water until I thought it was finally OK, then canned the super-runny marmalade the same way I did last year. While cooling the hot jars on the kitchen table, I went through the original recipe one more time, and found out what I forgot to do… I forgot to squeeze the water out from the shredded konatsu peels after they were soaked in water for three hours!!! :O

Luckily, as I had expected, refrigerating did make the marmalade a bit less runny, and taste-wise it is OK, as far as you don’t mind a little too fibery texture for marmalade.

Konatsu Marmalade on Yogurt

This is the best way to consume this runny marmalade, I guess. Honestly, this combination is not bad at all.

I gave mom 2 small jars of this marmalade when I had lunch with her the day before yesterday, and she hasn’t called me yet to tell me whether she liked it or not. Maybe she is still looking for a politically correct way to express her impression of the marmalade. ;)

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Anonymous said...



obachan said...

No problem. I think I was born to live an adventurous life. ;P

Thanks. :)