Okay, so this post is really only going to be of benefit to people in California, Brazil, France, Italy and a few other places, but this is basically all I've been thinking about recently. Everyone else can pretend I'm talking about regular sour oranges, or can call their local produce vendor to see about acquiring some of the little guys. I just can't keep it all in!
Anyway, I got my case of bergamot oranges delivered (by the way? Not a particularly easy feat when you live in a citrus state and need citrus from another citrus state). I zested and juiced 26 of the oranges the day before yesterday, my head spinning with all the possibilities. It's been so long since my home has smelled like this lovely, spicy, beautiful orange. Because I didn't have enough ice cube trays to deal with the juice (okay... in fairness, to deal w/ the juice and the vegetable stock I'm also freezing 2 tablespoons at a time), I stuck the 10 cups of juice in a container and stuffed it in the fridge, and then I oven dried all the zest overnight. I've been slowly freezing a tray of juice here and there, transferring the cubes to gallon sized freezer bags (I'm really going to have to cook one of those turkeys soon I think, so free up some space) as I have time.
Yesterday we went and got a couple more ice trays (and a new tv for P), and by the time we'd come home, I was certain I wanted to make a batch of bergamot marmalade. Well, and curd. But I'm not doing the curd until tomorrow or the next day. It's a modified version of the grapefruit marmalade recipe in the Ball Blue Book. Enjoy!
4 bergamot oranges, broken down into 2/3 cup thinly sliced peel (with some pith) and about 1 1/2 cup pulp, broken into large-ish bits.
1 quart water
Peel and supreme the oranges. This recipe takes the peel of about 2 oranges. I used a vegetable peeler on the other two and oven dried the peel, but kept the ends, pith, seeds and membranes (from all the oranges that didn't have their peel/pith go into cut peel, I just kept the seeds and membranes) because they have a lot of pectin and for some reason my stuff always takes an eternity to set. Every bit helps, I guess. Tie up all the ends, pith, seeds and membranes in cheese cloth.
Take your sliced peel and cover w/ water. Boil for 10 minutes, then drain. Then add in the flesh, the quart of water and the cheese cloth of miscellaneous bits and boil another 10 minutes. Cover it and stick it in the fridge overnight (up to 18-ish hours). Discard cheesecloth bundle, and cook over low-ish heat until the peels are completely softened. Measure your mixture and add an equal volume of sugar to it (i.e., if you have 4 cups of mixture, add 4 cups of sugar). Reheat it, stirring it until the sugar dissolves, then cook rapidly until it reaches the gelling point (go down to the part about how to tell when it's gelled). Pack into hot jars, leaving 1/4" head space, then process for 15 minutes (at sea level). Makes about 3 half-pints, theoretically, but I wound up w/ 5 (which means it probably won't set perfectly, so I will probably fix it, one jar at a time later, when I want to use it, since I don't really feel like dealing with it at the moment).